English Documentary on Ichthyosaurs with Transcript and Video to practice reading and listening comprehension in real context and expand your scientific and academic vocabulary in real context with illustrated flashcards and interesting documentaries
Source of documentary: National Geographic YouTube Channel
Table of Contents
Ichthyosaurs or dominant sea monsters
While dinosaurs roamed the Earth and pterosaurs ruled the sky, sea monsters called ichthyosaurs dominated the world’s oceans. Ichthyosaurs were ancient reptilian predators. They first appeared about 251 million years ago during the Triassic Period, 20 million years before dinosaurs came about.
True to their name, which means fish lizards in Greek, the earliest ichthyosaurs looked much like lizards with fins. Over the course of their 100-million-year existence, their bodies transformed and became more akin to fish in shape.
They had long narrow skulls and jaws that were lined in sharp teeth. These teeth were used to catch prey like fish and squid. Their eyes were the largest ever recorded of any animal which helped them see through the dark waters of the deep ocean. In fact, one species had eyes that were over 10 inches wide.
Their bodies ranged in size. Some barely reached the length of two feet, while the longest specimen was about 85 feet long. They had paddle-liked fins, and a vertical tail, which helped ichthyosaurs, despite their great size, zip through water at speeds of over 22 miles per hour. Altogether, these qualities put ichthyosaurs at the top of the marine food chain.
By the late Cretaceous Period, about 25 million years before an asteroid wiped out the dinosaurs, ichthyosaurs became extinct. Some scientists believe it may have been due to severe climate change, but the exact reason why these early sea monsters died out is still a mystery.
6 comments on “English Documentary on Ichthyosaurs with Transcript & Video”
Really it is an amazing and question raising documentary. How big and how sophisticated is the universe and how different species with amazing and complex qualities have extincted and replaced each other.
That’s totally right. Antediluvian or prehistoric creatures like ichthyosaurs were genuinely awe-inspring. This documentary made me think that the universe around us was, is, and will be utterly splendid and remarkable.
these species have extincted = have become extinct
It very bad and sad that we lose very of these poor creatures with a asteroid strike. If these was not happened we could know about them more.
You’re right about our encounter with those creatures. But did you forget that these creatures were beasts and monsters, and most of them, like ichthyosaurs, were carnivores. As a result, if they were alive, they could be a serious threat to us.
It is really fantastic to know about these fascinating creatures that once lived on the earth.
Right. Life at those prehistoric times was so different mainly because a great deal of gigantic monsters and beasts used to roam around.