Wednesday, June 04, 2014

A Lower Cretaceous Ichthyosaur Bone Bed from Chile

A Lower Cretaceous ichthyosaur graveyard in deep marine slope channel deposits at Torres del Paine National Park, Southern Chile. 2014. W. Stinnesbeck et al., GSA Bulletin. Published online 22 May 2014

image by Amadare90

Forty-six ophthalmosaurid ichthyosaurs (marine reptiles) have been discovered in the vicinity of the Tyndall Glacier in the Torres del Paine National Park of southern Chile. Among them are numerous articulated and virtually complete skeletons of adults, pregnant females, and juveniles.Preservation is excellent and occasionally includes soft tissue and embryos.

The skeletons are associated with ammonites, belemnites, inoceramid bivalves, and fishes as well as numerous plant remains. The enormous concentration of ichthyosaurs is unique for Chile and South America and places the Tyndall locality among the prime fossil Lagerst├Ątten for Early Cretaceous marine reptiles worldwide. link