Painting of Ichthyosaurus by Heinrich HarderIchthyosaurs (pronounced ik-thea-sores) are giant marine reptiles that lived in the oceans of the Mesozoic Era, while dinosaurs roamed the land. Though fish-like in shape, ichthyosaurs breathed air like whales and dolphins and gave birth to live young. Ichthyosaurs coexisted with other giant marine reptiles such as mosasaurs and plesiosaurs, also on display at the Burke Museum.
The ichthyosaur specimen is a major recent acquisition for the Burke Museum, donated by the Hart Family. Additional fossils from the Harts, including the mosasaur skeleton recently installed by Burke paleontologists in Hitchcock Hall on the University of Washington campus, join more than 2.75 million other specimens of fossil invertebrates, fossil vertebrates, fossil plants, and modern mollusks in the Burke Museum's paleontology collection.
Burke staff and associates unload the fossil
Burke Museum Curator of Vertebrate Paleontology Christian Sidor with fossil
The ichthyosaur fossil on the Burke Room wall.