Ichthyosaurus is one of the best-known ichthyosaurs, because of the hundreds of individuals that have been found in Europe. This marine reptile was well-adapted to live in the oceans; it had a streamlined body, flippers and dorsal fin on its back. It was probably able to swim up to 30 km/h, which is comparable to modern-day dolphins. Ichthyosaurus hunted on squid and fish, probably by using its large ear bones to echolocate them. From multiple fossils it is known that the species was viviparous, so it gave birth to live offspring.
Upper Triassic to Lower Jurassic
The Ichthyosaurus-genus consists of six recognized species, of which I. communis was the first to be found and therefore the most well-known species. Fossils of this species have been found in the UK, Belgium and Switzerland. I. communis could reach a total length of two meters and weighed about 100 kg.
De la Beche & Conybeare, 1821
Maisch, M. W., & Matzke, A. T. (2000). New data on the cranial osteology of Ichthyosaurus communis Conybeare, 1822. Geologica et Palaeontologica, 34, 137-143.