Our own diminutive Sea Dragons

reconstruction by palaeo-artist John Sibbick of two juvenile ichthyosaurs from the Strawberry Bank Lagerstätte 

This week the news has been full of excitement about the stupendous discovery of a giant ichthyosaur in Leicestershire, commonly being referred to as the Rutland Sea Dragon. This huge Temnodontosaurus, over 10 meters in length, the largest found in England, was a fierce apex predator. To give our own account of this beast, we can do no better than link to the superb article that one of the excavation team, Nigel Larkin, has published on the Geological Curators Group Blog.

Animals such as this where what the juvenile and infant ichthyosaurs of the Strawberry Bank Lagerstätte, part of the Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution Collection, were sheltering from in the refuge provided by the shallow ecosystem in which they were preserved. To celebrate and harmonise with this new discovery, we have added a new page to our Strawberry Bank Lagerstätte resources here, describing and illustrating our young ichthyosaurs, which came from the same stage of the Jurassic as the Rutland Sea Dragon, the Toarcian, just 1 million years before  (183 rather than 182 million years ago).

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