Ichthyosaur

How many bones make a back?

This is a large ichthyosaur vertebra or backbone. The preservation, the colour and texture indicate that this is from the Lower Jurassic rocks, almost certainly from around Lyme Regis. Vertebrae are much more common than paddle bones or skulls for a very simple and obvious reason. Each animal had about 180 vertebrae making up their backbone or vertebral column, but only one head and four paddles!

Find out more on the reptiles pages.

Common name

Ichthyosaur

Type

Vertebrates > Reptiles > Ichthyosaurs


Strata

Blue Lias (probably) Lower Jurassic

Time period

Lower Jurassic

Age

195 million years

Where found

Unknown, but almost certainly around Lyme Regis

Found by

Unknown

Museum

Allhallows Museum, Honiton

Accession number

HONAM.1998.461.71