Stenopterygius quadriscissus

Part of Hall of Vertebrate Origins.

From the Museum’s Hall of Vertebrate Origins a fossilized Stenopterygius quadriscissus in a stone slab.

The Museum's Stenopterygius quadriscissus specimen is world-famous because of the well-preserved outlines of the animal's skeletal structure as well as softer body parts. Stenopterygius quadriscissus evolved a highly modified body for aquatic life.

Stenopterygius quadriscissus is an ichthyosaur, an extinct animal whose body shape closely resembled that of today's fast-swimming fishes such as the tuna. This well-preserved specimen is an ichthyosaur that died and was buried while giving birth to live young.