(Qian fish lizard).
Named By: Li - 1999.
Classification: Chordata, Reptilia, Ichthyopterygia, Ichthyosaura, Toretocnemidae.
Species: Q. zhoui (type), O. xingyiensis
Size: Total body length estimated at up to 150 centimetres, skull 24 centimetres long.
Known locations: China, Guizhou Province - Falang Formation, Wayao Formation, Xiaowa Formation.
Time period: Carnian of the Triassic.
Fossil representation: partial remains of several individuals.
Qianichthyosaurus is an example of a transitional ichthyosaur similar to Mixosaurus that shows a link between the more primitive ichthyosaurs and the more fish-like advanced forms. One clue to this are the limbs (flippers) which have four digits instead of the more common five which are seen in more primitive ichthyosaur forms. However the snout of Qianichthyosaurus is proportionately shorter than later forms which itself is seen as a more basal trait. Qianichthyosaurus is thought to be closely related to the ichthyosaur Toretocnemus that is known from California, hence the placement of the genus within the Toretocnemidae.
- New Material of Qianichtyosaurus Li, 1999 (Reptilia, Ichthyosauria) from the late Triassic of southern China, and Implications for the Distribution of Triassic Ichthyosaurs. - Journey of Vertebrate Paleontology, 22(4):759-765. - Elizabeth L. Nicholls, Chen Wei & Makoto Manabe - 2002.
- A new species of Qianichthyosaurus (Reptilia: Ichthyosauria) from Xingyi Fauna (Ladinian, Middle Triassic) of Guizhou". Acta Scientiarum Naturalium Universitatis Pekinensis. 49 (6): 1002–1008. - Pengfei Yang, Cheng Ji, Dayong Jiang, Ryosuke Motani, Andrea Tintori, Yuanlin Sun & Zuoyu Sun - 2013.