Temporal range: Middle Jurassic–Upper Cretaceous, 171.6–93.5 mya
|Ophthalmosaurus icenicus skeleton|
Only three genera survived the end-Jurassic extinction event: Caypullisaurus, Maiaspondylus, and Platypterygius. They did, however, have a worldwide distribution. The last to survive was Platypterygius. This genus became extinct about 30 million years before the end of the Upper Cretaceous period. It happened when there was a deep ocean anoxic event, which wiped out all the animals below pelagic waters. Ichthyosaurs, being reptiles, came to the surface to breath, but the extinction event removed their prey species.
References[change | change source]
- Fernández M. 2007. Redescription and phylogenetic position of Caypullisaurus (Ichthyosauria: Ophthalmosauridae). Journal of Paleontology 81 (2): 368-375.