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Temporal range: Late Triassic, 210 Ma
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Ichthyosauria
Node: Parvipelvia
Family: Macgowaniidae
MacGowan & Motani, 2003
Genus: Macgowania
Motani, 1999
M. janiceps
Binomial name
Macgowania janiceps
(MacGowan, 1996 [originally Ichthyosaurus])

Macgowania is an extinct genus of parvipelvian ichthyosaur known from British Columbia of Canada.[1][2]


Macgowania is known only from the holotype ROM 41992 (RBCM EH 91.2.5), a partial skeleton which preserved nearly complete skull, almost complete forefin and other postcranial elements. It was collected in the Jewitt Spur locality from the Pardonet Formation, dating to the middle Norian stage of the Late Triassic, about 210 million years ago. It was found on the northern shore of the Peace Reach branch of Williston Lake. A second specimen from the same locality, ROM 41991, may be referable to this genus based on its forefin structure, but this cannot be confirmed due to its poor preservation.[1] Macgowania has a very stable position in many cladistic analyses.[2][3] The family Macgowaniidae was named by McGowan and Motani in 2003 to include this genus.[4]


Macgowania was originally described by Chris McGowan in 1996 as Ichthyosaurus janiceps.[1] It was reassigned to its own genus by Ryosuke Motani in 1999 and the type species is Macgowania janiceps. The generic name honors Chris McGowan for describing the type species.[2] The specific name is said to derived from janus, Latin for the Roman god with two opposite faces, and ceps, Latin for head.[1] The proper word in Latin for head is however caput.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Chris McGowan (1996). "A new and typically Jurassic ichthyosaur from the Upper Triassic of British Columbia". Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences. 33 (1): 24–32. doi:10.1139/e96-003.CS1 maint: Uses authors parameter (link)
  2. ^ a b c Ryosuke Motani (1999). "Phylogeny of the Ichthyopterygia" (PDF). Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. 19 (3): 472–495. doi:10.1080/02724634.1999.10011160.CS1 maint: Uses authors parameter (link)
  3. ^ Michael W. Maisch and Andreas T. Matzke (2000). "The Ichthyosauria" (PDF). Stuttgarter Beiträge zur Naturkunde: Serie B. 298: 1–159.[permanent dead link]
  4. ^ McGowan C, Motani R. 2003. Ichthyopterygia. – In: Sues, H.-D. (ed.): Handbook of Paleoherpetology, Part 8, Verlag Dr. Friedrich Pfeil, 175 pp., 101 figs., 19 plts; München
  5. ^ Lewis, C.T. & Short, C. (1879). A Latin dictionary founded on Andrews' edition of Freund's Latin dictionary. Oxford: Clarendon Press.