Named By: Valentin Fischer, Maxim S. Arkhangelsky, Pascal Godefroit & Edwige Masure - 2011.
Classification: Chordata, Reptilia, Ichthyosauria, Ophthalmosauridae, Platypterygiinae.
Species: S. insolitus (type).
Known locations: Russia, Ul’yanovsk.
Time period: Barremian of the Cretaceous.
Fossil representation: Almost complete specimen.
Sveltonectes is a member of the Platypterygiinae ichthyosaurs due to is resemblance to others of this group such as Platyptergius. This group is nested within the Ophthalmosauridae which is typified by the genus Ophthalmosaurus. Sveltonectes stands out from its relatives for its even more streamlined, lightweight build, as well as possessing differently formed teeth that are thin and pointed. These teeth have been interpreted as being for a different kind of prey specialisation, even though Sveltonectes probably ate either fish or cephalopods like squid, just like the more closely related ichthyosaurs of these groups. The specialisation here is implied for a certain type of fish and/or squid.
- A new Barremian (Early Cretaceous) ichthyosaur from western Russia. - Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 31(5):1010-1025. - V. Fischer, E. Masure, M. S. Arkhangelsky & P. Godefroit - 2011.