Named By: Bardet & Fernandez - 2000.
Synonyms: Ichthyosaurus leptospondylus.
Classification: Chordata, Reptilia, Ichthyosauria, Ophthalmosauridae, Platypterygiinae.
Species: A. leptospondylus (type).
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.
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
(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
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.
- A new ichthyosaur from the Upper Jurassic lithographic limestones of Bavaria. - Journal of Paleontology 74(3):503-511. - N. Bardet & M. Fernandez - 2000.