18" Massive, Articulated Ichthyosaur Vertebra - 40 Footer!

This is string of five, articulated vertebrae from a HUGE Ichthyosaur (Temnodontosaurus sp.) recovered from the Posidonia Shale in Germany. The largest vert is an astounding 6.6" tall (not including the partial process) and would have come from a Ichthyosaur around 40 feet in length. These are by far the largest Ichthyosaur vertebrae that I've ever seen and I was told is the largest articulated ones ever recovered from Holzmaden.

The entire piece is solid, measures 18" in length and comes with a display stand. There is only two crack repairs with some minimal gap fill restoration and the piece has been nicely prepared.

Artists reconstruction of an Ichthyosaur. Image Credit: Nobu Tamura (http://spinops.blogspot.com/)

Ichthyosaurs ("Fish Lizard") was a giant marine reptile which thrived from much of the Mesozoic era. They evolved in the mid Triassic from a group of unidentified land reptiles which transition back into the water. This line evolved in parallel to the ancestors of todays dolphins and whales, something known as convergent evolution.

The Posidonia Shale which outcrops in the Holzmaden, Germany has been commercially mined for centuries and has been used for such things as tile, table tops and fireplace hearths. These quarrying operations have also uncovered a vast treasure trove of beautifully preserved, Early Jurassic (~183 million years old) fossils. The lower shale layers have produced fossils including ichthyosaurs with preserved skin and soft tissue impressions.

A view of one of the quarries in the Posidonia Shale of Southern Germany.
Temnodontosaurus sp.
Holzmaden, Germany
Posidonia Shale Formation
18" long, Largest vert centrum 6.6" tall
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