Fossil of pregnant ichthyosaur ‘Fiona’ extracted from glacier

STORY: The is the fossil of a pregnant marine reptile named ‘Fiona’

discovered by Chilean paleontologists in a glacier

Location: Patagonia Region, Chile

It’s 13 feet long

and is one of the world's most complete ichthyosaur fossils with intact embryos

[Judith Pardo, Chilean Palaeontologist, Ichthyosaur Project Leader]

“The ichthyosaurs were marine reptiles that lived between 250 million years to 93 million years ago in the Triassic, all the Jurassic until the early Cretaceous that we have in Magallanes. They had a body similar to a dolphin. Here I have an ichthyosaur figure... they had an elongated snout, two front fins, two rear fins, a dorsal fin they all used to swim on the seabed and a caudal fin they used to propel themselves in the water.”

Pardo discovered the fossil more than a decade ago

but the site's extreme climate and terrain made extraction a challenge

Scientists spent 31 days extracting the fossil which was helicoptered out

The fossil is now being prepared to be exhibited

in the Rio Seco Natural History Museum in southern Chile

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