Californosaurus

Name: Californosaurus ‭(‬California lizard‭)‬.
Phonetic: Cal-e-for-noe-sore-us.
Named By: Kuhn‭ ‬-‭ ‬1934.
Synonyms: Delphinosaurus perrini,‭ ‬Shastasaurus perrini.
Classification: Chordata,‭ ‬Reptilia,‭ ‬Diapsida,‭ ‬Ichthyopterygia,‭ ‬Shastasauria,‭ ‬Toretocnemidae.
Species: C.‭ ‬perrini‭ (‬type‭)‬.
Diet: Piscivore.
Size: 3‭ ‬meters long.
Known locations: USA,‭ ‬California.
Time period: Carnian of the Triassic.
Fossil representation: One specimen.

       With a tail that dips down to produce a tail fluke Californosaurus is seen 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 active predatory 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.



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