Fall and Rise of Protoichthyosaurus

Fall and Rise of Protoichthyosaurus Regular readers of this blog might know that I have a special research interest in ichthyosaurs, the (mostly) shark-shaped marine reptiles of the Mesozoic, and in particular with parvipelvian ichthyosaurs: Parvipelvia being the clade characterised by a reduced pelvis, enlarged tail fin and other features linked to increased ‘thunniformity’, if you will. I haven’t published as much on parvipelvians as I would have liked, but when have you heard that before.

Indeed, the impression that Appleby never did that much belies the ridiculous amount of ichthyosaur-themed stuff he actually did but never published, and for the full story on that you’ll have to wait, sorry. Among those things he did publish was his 1979 paper on the ostensible new British parvipelvian Protoichthyosaurus, two species of which were recognised in the same paper (P. prostaxalis and P. prosostealis), both of which were from the Lower Jurassic of south-western England, both of which were argued to be valid on the basis of the configuration of their fore-paddle bones and on the proportions of their skull and limb girdle bones (Appleby 1979).


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