Named By: Wiman - 1929.
Classification: Chordata, Reptilia, Ichthyopterygia, Grippidia, Grippiidae.
Species: G. longirostris (type), G. geishanensis, G. hataii, G. microenta.
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.
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
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
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.
- 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.