Temnodontosaurus

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Temnodontosaurus
Temporal range: Early Jurassic
Temnodontosaurus trigonodon mounted skeleton.JPG
T. trigonodon, Staatliches Museum für Naturkunde Stuttgart
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Ichthyosauria
Family: Temnodontosauridae
Genus: Temnodontosaurus
Lydekker, 1889
Species
  • T. platyodon type species
  • T. eurycephalus
  • T. nuertingensis
  • T. trigonodon
  • T. acutirostris
  • T. azerguensis Martin et al., 2012

Temnodontosaurus is an extinct genus of ichthyosaurs from the Early Jurassic, ranging between 198 and 185 million years ago (Hettangian - Toarcian), and known from Europe (England and Germany). Species of Temnodontosaurus were large, exceeding 12 meters (40 ft) in length.[1]

Classification[edit]

Restoration of T. platyodon

It is the only genus in the family Temnodontosauridae.[2] T. risor was found to be a juvenile of T. platyodon.[3]

Cladogram below based on Maisch and Matzke (2000)[4] and Maisch and Matzke (2003)[5] with clade names following Maisch (2010):[6]

Merriamosauria 

Pessopteryx (=Merriamosaurus)




Besanosaurus




Shastasaurus




Shonisaurus




Mikadocephalus




Californosaurus




Callawayia


 Parvipelvia 

Macgowania



Hudsonelpidia


 Neoichthyosauria 

Temnodontosaurus




Eurhinosauria




Suevoleviathan


 Thunnosauria 

Ichthyosaurus




Stenopterygius



Ophthalmosauridae















Palaeobiology[edit]

Temnodontosaurus with a human for scale

Temnodontosaurus eyes were approximately 20 cm (8 in) in diameter making them some of the largest of any known vertebrate. Despite the impressive size of their eyes, temnodontosaurus had blind spots directly above their head due to the angle at which their eyes were pointed. They were powerful swimmers with great stamina and could descend into the deepest areas in the Jurassic sea to catch their prey.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Maisch MW, Matzke AT. 2000. The Ichthyosauria. Stuttgarter Beiträge zur Naturkunde Serie B (Geologie und Paläontologie) 298: 1-159
  2. ^ HIERARCHICAL TAXONOMY OF THE CLASS EODIAPSIDA. Retrieved January 16, 2009.
  3. ^ McGowan, C. (1995). "Temnodontosaurus risor is a Juvenile of T. platyodon (Reptilia: Ichthyosauria)". Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 14 (4): 472–479. JSTOR 4523589.  edit
  4. ^ Michael W. Maisch and Andreas T. Matzke (2000). "The Ichthyosauria". Stuttgarter Beiträge zur Naturkunde: Serie B 298: 159. 
  5. ^ Michael W. Maisch and Andreas T. Matzke (2003). "Observations on Triassic ichthyosaurs. Part XII. A new Lower Triassic ichthyosaur genus from Spitzbergen". Neues Jahrbuch für Geologie und Paläontologie Abhandlungen 229: 317–338. 
  6. ^ Michael W. Maisch (2010). "Phylogeny, systematics, and origin of the Ichthyosauria – the state of the art". Palaeodiversity 3: 151–214.