Ichthyosaurus is not a fish, dolphin, or dinosaur, but rather an ichthyosaur - an extinct type of aquatic reptile. Its outward resemblance to fishes and dolphins is due to convergent evolution, the process by which unrelated species develop similar features in response to living comparable lifestyles. Ichthyosaurs appeared at the beginning of the Mesozoic Era, or Age of Dinosaurs, about 245 million years ago, and survived nearly to its end. Extraordinary fossils reveal that they gave birth to live young rather than laying eggs like most other reptiles. Ichthyosaurus is among the best-known ichthyosaurs. It preyed primarily on fishes and squid-like invertebrates.
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