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Ichthyosaurus

Illustration by Tomozaurus of JPLegacy

Isla Sorna, Isla NublarEdit

Length: 8 feet
Height: 4 feet
Weight: 500 pounds

All of Nublar’s local Ichythosaurus are immigrants from Sorna, and the species is capable of moving between the two islands.


Coloration:

Adult (both sexes): Jet-black dorsal region and upper jaw. Flanks are a lighter grey colour, separated from the black colouring of the back by a yellow lateral line. This area is also occasionally lightly freckled with black spots. The ventral region is bright white, and the pectoral and pelvic fins are tipped with black.
Juvenile (both sexes): Similar to adult, with black, grey and white coloration mutual save for the black freckles which are not present in juveniles. Fins are still black-tipped. Yellow streak is less prominent, and only runs from jaw hinge area to middle of the body.


Diet: Fish, Molluscs and Crustaceans.

Preferred Habitat: The seas surrounding The Five Deaths, occasionally swimming inland. They are capable of small trips overland to gain access to more sheltered pools in which they breed. Many return to the Aquatic Cloning Facility on Sorna during the breeding season.

Social Structure: Medium to large pods, typically consisting of up to twenty individuals. However, in certain conditions, massive groups can occur, ranging between 50 to even 100 individuals.


These graceful animals appear somewhat similar to dolphins, even though they are of no relation (Ichthyosaurus being descended from reptiles). Their streamlined bodies and powerful tails mean they are capable of amazing speeds within the water. Their eyes are large and protected by bone shields, which allow them to dive to great depths without suffering damage. The jaws are strong and elongated, with hundreds of small teeth perfectly suited to catching small fish.

Ichthyosaurus are some of the more intelligent of the Five Death's natives (although still considerably less so than the morphologically similar dolphins with which they share the water). They are social animals; forming large pods in which clear cliques can occur. Although less altruistic than dolphins, they do show great interest towards objects such as boats and shipwrecks - often the reason Ichthyosaurus occassionally swim down inland channels is simply to sate their curiosity.

InGen had originally planned to display Ichthyosaurus in a similar manner to modern dolphins in them parks; allowing visitors to touch and potentially swim with them. However, these plans were scuppered by one of the most remarkable of InGen's scientific discoveries; biolelectrogenesis. Whilst the ability is well documented within many modern species, nobody had dared to imagine that any prehistoric species were capable of the same feats.

Whilst not capable of as powerful discharges as many modern species, Ichthyosaurus is capable of delivering a vast array of different charges - from short bursts to longer signals. This massive variation of discharges allows for the signal to be used in a variety of different ways. Communication is achieved almost entirely by electrical discharge, as well as the stunning of smaller prey items such as fish and invertebrates. With teamwork, entire shoals of fish can be corralled into a signal area, before being hit with a massive discharge from a group of Ichthyosaurus - who appear somewhat insulated against such huge charges, although not entirely. Even mollusks, whose tough shells make them impervious to the teeth of Ichthyosaurus, are not safe from them; as with the correct discharge their muscles can be coaxed into motion, opening their shells and leaving them unprotected from their attacker's needle-like teeth.

Ichthyosaurus are monogamous, although display bizarre courtship behaviors. Pairs first bond before they are fully mature, which occurs after about three years in both sexes. Although they breed in their first year no pups will result. Throughout the year, the pair shows each other little attention until breeding season occurs once more, at which point they mate once more, with viable young being possible from the pair's second year onwards. Males become sexually active before the females are receptive, and so bullying tactics are occasionally used in order to coax her into activity. During the year, males and females live in separate pods, with interaction between the two somewhat sporadic. Pups are brought up by the females for the first year; at the end of which they join the male pods regardless of their sex in order to make space for the next year's pups.

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