Meet 'Fiona' the pregnant ichthyosaur, Chile's oldest marine reptile mom

Meet ‘Fiona’ the pregnant ichthyosaur, Chile’s oldest marine reptile mom

In the shadow of a massive Patagonian glacier, paleontologists have unearthed a rare fossil find: an ancient marine reptile that died while pregnant. This dolphin-like creature, called an ichthyosaur, is the first of its kind to be discovered in Chile, where it was retrieved from a dig site near the Tyndall Glacier in the Southern Patagonian Ice Field.

“This site is really unique, because it’s capturing a time period in Earth’s history where we don’t have a very good fossil record for marine reptiles,” Erin Maxwell, an ichthyosaur specialist and curator of marine reptiles at the State Museum of Natural History in Stuttgart, Germany who helped excavate the fossil, told Live Science.

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