Ichthyosaurs were large aquatic reptiles that lived during the time of the dinosaurs, long before the ice ages. They first evolved from egg-laying diapsid reptiles between the latest Permian and the earliest Triassic and died out 90 million years ago. One of them serves as the main antagonist of Ice Age: The Meltdown.
Shaped roughly like a dolphin, with crocodilian snouts full of long, pointed teeth, ichthyosaurs were carnivorous reptiles that swam through rivers and oceans, searching for prey, chiefly reptiles. To move through the waters of their era, ichthyosaurs had two long front limbs equipped with clawed paws and two hind fins, similar to a fish. Along their backs were large, pointed sails and covering their bodies was thick hide, coated along their backs with pointed spikes. At the end of their short tails was a large, flat tail fin, similar to that most fish.
Among the reptiles of the age of the dinosaurs were ichthyosaurs, who, not being true dinosaurs, swam through the Mesozoic waters in search of prey, becoming extinct 90 million years ago, 25 million years before the extinction of the non-avian dinosaurs at the end of their era. One ichthyosaur, however, named Cretaceous, had survived the extinction, becoming frozen in the waters he swam in, along with a pliosaur named Maelstrom. Both reptiles were thawed out in the ice ages and found prey animals in that era, which proved a challenge compared to the slower-moving reptiles of their own time.
- Ice Age: The Meltdown (First appearance)
Behind the Scenes
- True ichthyosaurs resembled dolphins and fish more than crocodiles , with no armor like skin, clawless limbs and a less crocodilian snout.
- The book Ice Age: The Great Escape states that both Cretaceous and Maelstrom were frozen one million years before the events of Ice Age: The Meltdown, but both ichthyosaurs and pliosaurs were extinct for tens of millions of years before the ice ages.
- In the mobile game Ice Age Village, ichthyosaurs are referred to as "crocodiles" or "Metri" in reference to the fact that they more closely resemble a crocodile of the genus Metriorhynchus.