Meet ‘Fiona’ the Pregnant Ichthyosaurus, Chile’s Oldest Marine Reptile Mother

In the shadow of a massive Patagonian glacier, paleontologists have unearthed a rare fossil find: an ancient marine reptile that died during pregnancy. This dolphin-like creature, called an ichthyosaur, is the first of its kind discovered in Chile, where it was recovered from an excavation at Tyndall Glacier in the Southern Patagonian Ice Field.

“This site is truly unique because it captures a time period in Earth’s history when 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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