Named By: Kuhn - 1934.
Synonyms: Delphinosaurus perrini, Shastasaurus perrini.
Classification: Chordata, Reptilia, Diapsida, Ichthyopterygia, Shastasauria, Toretocnemidae.
Species: C. perrini (type).
Size: 3 meters long.
Known locations: USA, California.
Time period: Carnian of the Triassic.
Fossil representation: One specimen.
a tail that dips down to produce a tail fluke Californosaurus
as the earliest advanced form ichthyosaur.
Basically this means that
the ichthyosaurs that came before Californosaurus
are all thought to
have had long eel-like tails that while providing primitive
ichthyosaurs with the ability to swim, were not as efficient as the
crescent shaped tail flukes that began to appear on ichthyosaurs like
Californosaurus. This means that Californosaurus
could swim faster
than its more basal brethren, and looking at the teeth in the jaws it
seems that Californosaurus probably displayed
behaviour in hunting faster swimming fish. The wide spaced phalanges
(the bones equivalent to forming your fingers and toes) indicate
that Californosaurus had wide fins, probably to
better cope with
steering at faster swimming speeds.
As with all ichthyosaurs Californosaurus is presumed to have given birth to live young at sea, as its body form would have made leaving the water virtually impossible.