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Dr Ben Moon

Anatomy and palaeobiology of ichthyosaurs and thalattosuchian crocodiles

Ichthyosaurs from the Upper Jurassic have remained a comparatively understudied part of an important group of Mesozoic marine reptiles. Recent, published research on the three British genera, OphthalmosaurusBrachypterygius and Nannopterygius, is lacking.  My research, based on the unpublished PhD thesis of Dr Angela Kirton, who has kindly passed on her materials for me to use,  will reappraise the the osteology and taxonomy of these three genera.  This work will be intergral to a forthcoming phylogenetic analysis, as the relationships between the Lower Jurassic and Cretaceous ichthyosaurs are poorly understood.  The well-preserved nature of material, particularly from the Oxford Clay of the Peterborough area, will also allow for a biomechanic study of ichthyosaur skull mechanics.

Research keywords

  • palaeontology
  • ichthyosaur
  • crocodilians
  • vertebrates
  • phylogenetic relationships
  • biomechanics
  • morphometrics
  • osteology
  • morphology
  • taxonomy