Name: Aegirosaurus ‭(‬Aegir lizard‭).
Phonetic: Ay-ge-er-o-sore-us.
Named By: Bardet‭ & ‬Fernandez‭ ‬-‭ ‬2000.
Synonyms: Ichthyosaurus leptospondylus.
Classification: Chordata,‭ ‬Reptilia,‭ ‬Ichthyosauria,‭ ‬Ophthalmosauridae,‭ ‬Platypterygiinae.
Species: A.‭ ‬leptospondylus‭ (‬type‭)‬.
Diet: Piscivore/carnivore.
Size: Under‭ ‬2‭ ‬meters long.
Known locations: Germany,‭ ‬France.
Time period: Tithonian of the Jurassic through to the Valanginian of the Cretaceous.
Fossil representation: Several specimens.

       Originally named as a species of Icthyosaurus by Wagner in‭ ‬1853,‭ ‬Aegirosaurus was raised as a distinct genus by Bardet‭ & ‬Fernandez some one hundred and forty-seven years later.‭ ‬This is in part down to the wastebasket taxon effect,‭ ‬a common practice in the nineteenth century that saw similar prehistoric animals grouped together as a single genus on the basis of superficial similarity.‭ ‬New study has revealed Aegirosaurus to belong to the Platypterygiinae group of ichthyosaurs‭ (‬named after Platypterygius‭) ‬and a sub group within the Ophthalmosauridae‭ (‬after Ophthalmosaurus‭)‬.‭ ‬Before being declared a distinct genus,‭ ‬remains have also been attributed as Ichthyosaurus trigonus posthumus.
       Aegirosaurus is named after the sea god Aegir who in Norse Mythology is famed for his brewing skill,‭ ‬something that regularly saw him providing the drink for feasts for the gods of Asgard.

Further reading
- A new ichthyosaur from the Upper Jurassic lithographic limestones of Bavaria. - Journal of Paleontology 74(3):503-511. - N. Bardet & M. Fernandez - 2000.


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