180 million year old pregnant Ichthyosaur
350 x 100 cm, 111⁄2 x 31⁄4 ft
The dolphin is one of the world’s most ancient symbols, often representing the harmony between Man and Nature. This amazingly detailed fossil is of a species that evolved in parallel to the dolphin and is almost indistinguishable. It is almost unimaginably ancient, dating from the Lower Jurassic Period that began 201.3 million years ago and lasted for 27.2 million years.
1. What is this?
This female ichthyosaur is unique because she was carrying two offspring that can be seen clearly in her abdomen, making her a symbol of femininity and motherhood.
Ichthyosaur was an ancient sea monster that ruled the oceans approximately 251 million years ago, 20 million years before dinosaurs came about. Icthyosaur means “Fish Lizards” in Greek. They existed for 100 million years. They were at the top of the marine food chain.
2. Who originally discovered this type of fossil?
Mary Anning, found the first complete Ichthyosaur skeleton at Lyme Regis in 1811. She was also famous for her rhyme of “she sells sea-shells on the seashore”.
3. Where is this piece from?
It was discovered in Southern Germany between 1958 – 1966. A fully articulated skeleton, the fossil was excavated in Dotternhausen, South Germany at some time between 1958-66 and was in one private ownership collection until 2018. Due to its great importance, it has been the subject of extensive academic research (please see bibliography below).
4. Is this piece authentic?
Yes, this piece is authentic and has been verified by numerous experts around the globe and accurately tracked with its origin.
5. Why is the rock cracked?
Fossils are often found within a slate rock. Many are removed and repaired but this one is in its original form. The pieces are a puzzle which fit perfectly together.