Ichthyosaurs Jaw

June 27, 2004


Provided and copyright by: Paul Michna, Earth Science Australia
Summary authors & editors: Paul Michna

The photo above shows part of the jaw bone of a marine dinosaur. Inland Queensland, Australia was a vast shallow sea during the Jurassic Period, some 110 million years ago. Ichthyosaurs were the reptile equivalent of a porpoise at the time. From the geological evidence, it appears that when the Ichthyosaurs this jaw bone came from died, its bloated body floated out to deeper water where it was either eaten or burst. As it sank the heavy jaw (right and side of the photo) speared into the mud. The rest of the remains attached to the jaw slowly rotated and decayed leaving a semi-circular pattern of bones around the jaw. It was collected by aboriginal high school students during the Far North Queensland Fossil Heritage Expeditions. All finds are donated to Australia museums and universities.

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