Chilean scientists have discovered one of the most impressive ichthyosaur fossils ever found in the world. It is an extremely well-preserved fossil found in the Tyndall Glacier, in the northern part of Patagonia which is part of Chile.
“Fiona”, as the scientists dubbed the female ichthyosaur, was pregnant when she lost her life. In fact, the embryos are “intact” inside the huge fossil.
The 4-meter-long fossil will help scientists study the embryonic development of ichthyosaurs that roamed the oceans 90-250 million years ago.
Judith Pardo, head of the team that made the impressive discovery, referred to the fossil as “the only pregnant ichthyosaur from the era between 129-139 million years ago” that has been found on the planet. That is why she spoke of an “incredibly important discovery”
Pardo, a paleontologist at the GAIA Antarctic Research Center, discovered the fossil more than a decade ago, but the site’s extreme climate conditions, harsh terrain and remoteness made the extraction a challenging process
The fossil will shortly be exhibited at the Rio Seco Natural History Museum in southern Chile.
Pardo said scientists also discovered 23 ichthyosaur specimens during the expedition , bringing the total up to almost 100 found in the Tyndall Glacier which makes it one of the richest and best-preserved ichthyosaur sites on earth.