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19 Amazing Cymbospondylus Facts That Kids Will Love

Cymbospondylus facts are amazing.

Cymbospondylus (Cymbospondylus piscosus) were among the largest marine reptile species that lived in this world during the middle and late Triassic times, which was almost 210-240 million years ago from the present-day world. The fossil remains of this species were discovered in Germany and Nevada by Joseph Leidy who subsequently gave them their name as well. They had a long eel-shaped body, with an enormous tail at the back. Cymbospondylus was able to swim faster in water and catch their prey more efficiently because of the elongated tail. However, despite their huge size, they had rather small-sized fragile teeth and therefore largely fed upon soft-bodied fish and mollusks like ammonites and belemnites. They inhabited the waters of North America and Europe. They spent the majority part of the day in deep offshore water and only moved towards shallow water, during the breeding season or to catch other seasonal prey. They were considered to be the apex predators of their regions and have been speculated to be solitary hunters, only coming together during the mating time. They gave birth to live young individuals since they did not physically possess the means to lay eggs.

If you are fascinated by the Cymbospondylus, then you may want to continue reading our other amazing facts about them. If you want to learn more about different dinosaurs around the world, check out these Chungkingosaurus facts and Bradycneme facts.

Cymbospondylus Interesting Facts

Was the Cymbospondylus a dinosaur?

No, Cymbospondylus is not a dinosaur. It was a large primitive marine reptile that existed in this world millions of years ago and lived in the sea of North America and Europe.

How do you pronounce 'Cymbospondylus'?

Cymbospondylus is commonly pronounced as 'Sim-bus-pond-ee-lus'.

What type of prehistoric reptile was a Cymbospondylus?

Cymbospondylus was a large primitive ichthyosaur.

In which geological period did the Cymbospondylus live?

This marine reptile lived during the Triassic period, which was almost 210-240 million years ago.

When did the Cymbospondylus become extinct?

The exact year, when this primitive species became extinct is not yet known. Cymbospondylus was considered to be the second-largest ichthyosaur, after Shastasaurus.

Where did the Cymbospondylus live?

Cymbospondylus mainly inhabited the water regions of North America and Europe. Its fossil remains were discovered in Germany and Nevada.

What was a Cymbospondylus' habitat?

Since this is a marine animal, it could be found mainly in the sea. Scientists indicate that they preferred to stay in the shallow water during the breeding season and spent the majority of the time in deep offshore waters.

Who did the Cymbospondylus live with?

Not much content is available about the other species who might have coexisted with this primitive species. However, since it was a marine animal, it can be safely assumed that it lived with other various small-sized species of marine animals. Due to its huge body size, it was considered to be the apex predator of its region. Several scientists claim them to be solitary hunters and formed groups or pairs only during the mating time.

How long did a Cymbospondylus live?

Not much content is available on the exact lifespan of this reptile, that existed in this world during the middle and the late Triassic period, which was almost 210-240 million years ago from the present-day world.

How did they reproduce?

This species reproduced by giving birth to live young ones. The litter size is not yet known. They, however, did prefer the shallow water during the breeding season.

Cymbospondylus Fun Facts

What did a Cymbospondylus look like?

Cymbospondylus was the second-largest species among the ichthyosaurs. It had a huge eel-like body with an elongated snout and a long tail at the back. Cymbospondylus did not possess any dorsal fins, unlike other ichthyosaurs. Its jaw was filled with teeth that helped it to catch its prey better. The long tail of this species further aided its movement in the water and could even move at high speed. There were considered to be the apex predators of the region they inhabited. Due to their huge size, the chances of having predators that might have hunted them, are close to none.

Cymbospondylus had small-shaped fragile teeth.

How many bones did a Cymbospondylus have?

The exact number of bones of this marine reptile is not yet known. Its fossils were uncovered from Germany and Nevada and their unique name was given by the American paleontologist Joseph Leidy in the year 1868. They were named Cymbospondylus piscosus and were considered to be the second-largest ichthyosaurs.

How did they communicate?

The exact communication process followed by this huge reptile is yet to be studied. Due to their enormous size, they were considered to be the apex predators of their region, hunting on other small-sized prey like fish. They were solitary hunters and formed groups or pairs only during the mating season.

How big were the Cymbospondylus?

This species was placed among the second-largest ichthyosaurs. The Cymbospondylus size ranged from 20-33 ft (6.1-10.1 m). The largest ichthyosaur was noted to be the Shastasaurid, which lived during the Late Triassic time. and were bigger than Cymbospondylus.

How fast could a Cymbospondylus move?

The exact speed attained by this ichthyosaur is not yet known. However, it has been deduced that due to their long tail on their huge eel-like body, they could swim very fast in the water, which further aided them while hunting.

How much did Cymbospondylus weigh?

This large ichthyosaur was among the largest ichthyosaurs to have existed during the prehistoric period. They had an elongated snout and a large tail. According to several estimates, a Cymbospondylus would have weighed 8000 lb (3628.7 kg).

What were the male and female names of the species?

There are no sex-specific name of this ichthyosaur. A male of this species was referred to as a male Cymbospondylus and a female was referred to as a female Cymbospondylus.

What would you call a baby Cymbospondylus?

Since they gave birth to live young ones, a baby Cymbospondylus can be called a juvenile.

What did they eat?

These ichthyosaurs were considered to be the apex predators of the area they lived in. They had strong jaws with small teeth and largely fed on various species of fish as well as mollusks like ammonites and belemnites. The teeth of these ichthyosaurs were rather small in size and were fragile, therefore, they mainly fed on soft-bodied marine animals.

How aggressive were they?

This ichthyosaur, because of its huge body was the apex predator of its regions, therefore it can be safely assumed that they were rather aggressive in nature, especially during hunting. Some scientists also claimed them to be solitary hunters, only coming together during the mating season.

Did you know...

This species was initially classified to be a Shastasaurid, however, later the claim was dismissed. Shastasaurid was the largest ichthyosaur, followed by Cymbospondylus that lived during the Late Triassic time.

Why is it called Cymbospondylus?

The marine species from the Triassic period was given the name Cymbospondylus, which is a Greek word that means 'boat spine'. However, the exact reason behind this name is unknown.

Who discovered Cymbospondylus?

Fossil remains of this species that existed in this world during the middle and late Triassic period, were uncovered by the American paleontologist Joseph Leidy from Germany and Nevada in 1868. They were subsequently named by him as well. They were among the largest ichthyosaurs to have lived on this planet and had huge tails. Their enormous tail further helped them to swim faster and catch their prey better. However, despite having huge bodies, they had small and fragile teeth and therefore mainly hunted on soft-bodied marine animals.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly prehistoric animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these Nothosaurus interesting facts, or Clidastes facts for kids.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable volcano and dinosaurs coloring pages.

Main image by H. Zell

Second image by Ghedoghedo

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