Hoff's Aliner Travels
A Travel Blog for US and Canadian Parks with Geological Notes

Ichthyosaurs (ICK-thee-o-sors) were prehistoric marine reptiles that differed dramatically from all other reptiles. Ranging in size from about two to over fifty feet in length, ichthyosaurs are the most highly specialized reptile ever to have lived on earth.
Very fish-like in appearance and locomotion, they bore their young alive and had amazingly large eyes in relation to the rest of the body. These carnivorous reptiles ate free-swimming mollusks such as ammonites, belemnites and probably fish. Like all reptiles, ichthyosaurs were air breathing and resembled modern day cetaceans (whales and dolphins to which the ichthyosaur is not related) in some characteristics. Ichthyosaurs lived at about the same time as the dinosaurs, Ichthyosaur fossils are found on all continents except Antarctica. There is no evidence linking the ichthyosaur to any other reptile, and their widespread existence and apparent success makes their extinction all the more mysterious. Of all the ichthyosaurs discovered, the ones at Berlin-Ichthyosaur State Park, dubbed Shonisaurus popularis after the Shoshone mountain range where they are found, are the largest specimens known with most being about fifty feet long.
Until 2004, these remains included the largest ichthyosaurs ever discovered. Several specimens were left where they were found (in situ), and can be viewed by the public. These specimens are protected from the elements by a large barn. The fossils are about a 10 minute drive from Berlin Ghost Town.
Return to Berlin / Ichthyosaur