(Qian fish lizard).
Named By: Li - 1999.
Classification: Chordata, Reptilia, Ichthyopterygia, Ichthyosaura, Toretocnemidae.
Species: Q. zhoui (type).
Size: Total body length estimated at up to 150 centimetres, skull 24 centimetres long.
Known locations: China, Guizhou Province - Wayao Formation.
Time period: Carnian of the Triassic.
Fossil representation: 2 specimens.
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.