Eurhinosaurus ('well-nosed lizard') is an extinct genus of ichthyosaur from the Early Jurassic (Toarcian) of Europe (England, Germany, Benelux, France & Switzerland). It was a large genus, exceeding 6 m in length.
|A 6.4 meters (21 feet) Eurhinosaurus specimen|
Eurhinosaurus followed the basic ichthyosaur body plan, with a fish-like fusiform body including well developed dorsal fin, vertically oriented lunate caudal fin, paired pectoral and pelvic fins, and large eyes. One distinct feature set it apart from other ichthyosaurs; the upper jaw was twice the length of the lower jaw and covered with up- and downwards-pointing teeth, unlike the living sawfish's laterally projecting teeth. The appendage might have been used to probe through vegetation, or soft sea-floor sediments for prey. The appendage may have been swung from side to side near the sea-floor like a sawfish, or to stun swimming prey in a manner similar to the rostrum of living billfish like swordfish, sailfish and marlins. A Miocene cetacean, Eurhinodelphis, also developed a similar structure.
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