Ichthyosaurs

Ichthyosaurs first appeared in the Lower Triassic alongside the placodonts and nothosaurs. They were the most highly specialised of all aquatic reptiles, and evolved to become top marine predators, yet maintained essentially the same body shape throughout most of the Mesozoic Era - about 150 million years. Like nothosaurs, thalattosaurs, crocodilians and other amphibious reptiles, plesiosaurs would almost certainly have been ectothermal as are modern crocodiles. These usually sun themselves...

Weapons of Attack

Teratosaurus

The offensive weapons of predatory dinosaurs, including the so-called carno-saurs Sects. 11.1,11.3.2 ,were primarily their sharp, inwardly curved, and serrated teeth Fig. 85 . Especially in the case of bipedal forms,however,the action of these teeth was often supplemented by forelimbs which grabbed the prey while it was being bitten. In numerous cases, curved jaws helped to hold the struggling prey securely. Many predators also had formidable claws that were used to slash the bodies of their...

Weight and Size Limits

Apatosaurus

The body proportions of animals are affected by a number of considerations, probably the most important of which are the ratios of size to mass. If two individuals were to have exactly the same shape, but one was twice as long as the other, all other linear dimensions would be double those of the smaller individual. The surface area would, however, be the square of the surface area of the smaller individual, while its mass would be cubed. Thus, if a reptile 3 m in length with a surface area of...