Grippia

Name: Grippia ‭(‬Anchor‭)‬.
Phonetic: Grip-ee-ah.
Named By: Wiman‭ ‬-‭ ‬1929.
Classification: Chordata,‭ ‬Reptilia,‭ ‬Ichthyopterygia,‭ ‬Grippidia,‭ ‬Grippiidae.
Species: G.‭ ‬longirostris‭ (‬type‭)‬,‭ ‬G.‭ ‬geishanensis,‭ ‬G.‭ ‬hataii,‭ ‬G.‭ ‬microenta.
Diet: Carnivore.
Size: 1‭ ‬to‭ ‬1.5‭ ‬meters long.
Known locations: Canada,‭ ‬China,‭ ‬Greenland and Japan.
Time period: Olenekian to Anisian of the Triassic.
Fossil representation: Several specimens.

       The best specimen of Grippia was destroyed in World War II,‭ ‬so today we have only this description and other less complete specimens left to study.‭ ‬This makes the key question about what this‭ ‬early‭ ‬ichthyosaur ate very difficult to answer.‭ ‬Early ideas had Grippia down as a predator of armoured prey like shellfish,‭ ‬but later study has revealed that the teeth are not especially suited for these kinds of animals.‭ ‬Instead the wider consensus is that Grippia was a generalist that did not rely upon a single kind of prey animal for food.
       Grippia longirostris fossils were once thought to come Spitsbergen,‭ ‬the main island of Svalbard,‭ ‬but these remains are now actually thought to have belonged to Helveticosaurus,‭ ‬which itself was once thought to be a placodont.

Further reading
- Grippia longirostris Wiman, 1929, un Ichthyopterygia primitif du Trias inférieur du Spitsberg. - Bulletin du Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle 4:317–340. - J. -M. Mazin - 1981.
- Skull of Grippia longirostris: no contradiction with a diapsid affinity for the Ichthyopterygia. - Palaeontology 43:1-14. - R. Motani - 2000.



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