Researchers used computer models to understand how ichthyosaurs moved millions of years ago. Credit: Susana Gutarra, University of Bristol
Virtual simulations help understand how ichthyosaurs swam - latest scientific news and research

The ichthyosaurs, sea monsters of the Mesozoic era, changed their body shape during evolution in order to swim more efficiently. To better understand how this happened, a team of scientists used computer simulations and virtual environments.

They created 3D models of several ichthyosaurs, but also of the bottlenose dolphin, a species that we know very well. This helped the researchers to understand that the bigger, more evolved animals moved more efficiently by beating their tails instead of using body movements as the earlier species did.

The results offer precious insights into the ecology of the ichthyosaurs and enhance our understanding of their motion.

Read the full story: University of Bristol
Scientific publication: Proceedings of the Royal Society B