Named By: Von Huene - 1922.
Synonyms: Ichthyosaurus tenuirostris, Leptopterygius tenuirostris.
Classification: Chordata, Reptilia, Ichthyosauria, Leptopterygiidae.
Species: L. tenuirostris (type), L. moorei, L. solei.
Size: Details uncertain.
Known locations: Western Europe including, Belgium, England, Germany and Switzerland.
Time period: Rhaetian of the Triassic through to Pliensbachian of the Jurassic.
Fossil representation: Several specimens.
is the type genus of Leptopterygiidae group of ichthyosaurs that had
specialised upper jaws that protruded beyond the end of the lower jaw.
This group of ichthyosaurs are sometimes envisioned using these snouts
to stir up sediment on the sea floor to find buried prey, however
because their jaws resemble those of swordfish it is thought that they
may have used them like swordfish to kill prey. This would involve
using their long rostrum to swipe at fish in front of them and causing
injuries to their flanks so that they could not swim away, thus
significantly increasing the chance of prey capture.
Two other ichthyosaurs with similar elongated snouts to Leptonectes are Eurhinosaurus and Excalibosaurus.