Sea Reptiles

T HERE were in the sea in very ancient times—long before the flood—two very large and wonderful reptiles. Of them we present striking illustrations. One of them has been named the Ichthyosaurus, which means Fish Reptile. Its head somewhat resembled that of the crocodile, except that the orbit was much larger, and had the nostril placed close to it, as in the whale, and not near the end of the snout. It had four paddles and a powerful tail, and was very active in its movements and a rapid swimmer.

The other huge reptile was the Plesiosaurus, the meaning of which is “Near to a Reptile.” Its structure was very singular and its character very strange. In the words of Buckland: “To the head of a lizard, it united the teeth of the crocodile, a neck of enormous length, resembling the body of a serpent, a trunk and a tail of the size of an ordinary quadruped, the ribs of a chameleon, and the paddles of a whale.”