There are no modern forms of ichthyosaur, but there are other vertebrates that share some of the key characteristics. The overall body shape of typical ichthyosaurs has also evolved independently in two other vertebrate forms. These forms are the dolphins and some species of shark. The features that these animals share are the torpedo shaped torso, a triangular dorsal fin, and a half moon shaped tail fin. These coincidences are known as 'convergent evolution'.


Author: P. T. Hadland
Last updated: Date 21st November 2005
Return to Fossil groups home page


Websites produced by students on the MSc Palaeobiology programme in the Department of Earth Sciences at the University of Bristol for academic year 2005-6