(Chao Hu lizard).
Named By: C. C. Young & Z. Dong - 1972.
Classification: Chordata, Reptilia, Ichthyosauromorpha, Ichthyosauriformes, Grippidia, Grippiidae
Species: C. geishanensis (type), C. brevifemoralis, C. zhangjiawanensis.
Size: Adults up to about 180 centimetres long.
Known locations: China - Jialingjang Formation, Majianshan Limestone Formation
Time period: Olenekian to Anisian of the Triassic.
Fossil representation: Remains of several individuals.
is a genus of ichthyosauromorph marine reptile that lived in sea waters
around Asia during the early/mid Triassic. Chaohusaurus
had a similar
body plan to other primitive ichthyosaurs
being more lizard-like than
fish-like as seen in later ichthyosaurs. Still, the limbs of
Chaohusaurus were adapted to form paddles, and the
rear half of the
tail dipped down slightly to form a paddle that was the primary form of
At least one known specimen of Chaohusaurus shows embryos of young developing inside the body of an adult, confirming that Chaohusaurus was viviparous and did not have to return to the land to lay eggs. Therefore it is likely that Chaohusaurus spent their entire lives in the sea, hunting for small aquatic organisms such as fish and squid.
- [On the Triassic aquatic reptiles of China]. - Memoirs of the Nanjing Institute of Geology and Paleontology. 9: 1–34. - C. C. Young & Z. Dong - 1972.
- Observations on Triassic ichthyosaurs. Part VII. New data on the osteology of Chaohusaurus geishanensis YOUNG & DONG, 1972 from the Lower Triassic of Anhui (China). - Neues Jahrbuch für Geologie und Paläontologie, Abhandlungen. 219: 305–327. - M. W. Maisch - 2001.
- A new Triassic primitive ichthyosaur from Yuanan, South China. - Acta Geologica Sinica 87(3):672-677. - X. Chen, P. M. Sander, L. Cheng & X. Wang - 2013.
- The new ichthyosauriform Chaohusaurus brevifemoralis (Reptilia, Ichthyosauromorpha) from Majiashan, Chaohu, Anhui Province, China. - PeerJ 7(e7561). - J. Huang, R. Motani, D. Jiang, A. Tintori, O. Rieppel, M. Zhou, X. Ren & R. Zhang - 2019.