When Ichthyosaurs Led a Revolution in the Seas

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  • Published: 26 June 2019
  • The marine reptiles Ichthyosaurs arose after The Great Dying, which wiped out at least 90 percent of life in the oceans, changing the seas forever and triggering a new evolutionary arms race between predator and prey.

    Thank you to these paleoartists for allowing us to use their wonderful illustrations:
    Julio Lacerda: 252mya.com/gallery/julio-lacerda
    Ceri Thomas: alphynix.tumblr.com/
    Dmitry Bogdanov: deviantart.com/dibgd
    Nobu Tamura: spinops.blogspot.com/
    Franz Anthony: 252mya.com/gallery/franz-anthony
    Nikolay Zverkov: deviantart.com/ngzver

    Produced in collaboration with PBS Digital Studios: cepnet.mobi/user/pbsdigitalstudios

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    Katie Fichtner, Anthony Callaghan, Zachary Spencer, Stefan Weber, Ilya Murashov, Charles Kahle, Robert Amling, Po Foon Kwong, Larry Wilson, Merri Snaidman, Renzo Caimi Ordenes, John Vanek, Neil H. Gray, Esmeralda Rupp-Spangle, Gregory Donovan, الخليفي سلطان, Gabriel Cortez, Marcus Lejon, Robert Arévalo, Robert Hill, Todd Dittman, Betsy Radley, PS, Philip Slingerland, Jose Garcia, Eric Vonk, Tony Wamsley, Henrik Peteri, Jonathan Wright, Jon Monteiro, James Bording, Brad Nicholls, Miles Chaston, Michael McClellan, Jeff Graham, Maria Humphrey, Nathan Paskett, Connor Jensen, Daisuke Goto, Hubert Rady, Gregory Kintz, Tyson Cleary, Chandler Bass, Maly Lor, Joao Ascensao, Tsee Lee, Sarah Fritts, Alex Yan

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    References:
    docs.google.com/document/d/1VIHx9s6bjXg-LCbDoV4s4VOMguipItkbQXgK_ZwVSCk/edit
  • Science and Technology Science and Technology

Comments • 1 192

  • Nori Retherford
    Nori Retherford  3 hours back

    Really interesting video! I've been loving all these Eons vids and I never knew much about ichthyosaurs so this was especially enlightening. But I'm having trouble reconciling these statements about their extinction: "The first to go were the generalists" . . . "Ichthyosaurs had just become too specialized" (around 6:50) I'm used to thinking of generalist species as being more hardy and versatile than specialists. Can someone explain why they'd be the first to go in this situation? Thanks!

    • Shark Bait
      Shark Bait  3 days back

      8:53 What kind of whale is that? Never seen one like that before.

      • fightingfate451
        fightingfate451  3 days back

        You know what would be interesting the history of predator and prey. Anomalocaris was our worlds first major predator, but how and why did it become this way? What was the thing that led to such a complex predator/prey relationship and how has this evolved throughout the years to keep adding the complex relationship that exists to this day.

        • Deja Porter
          Deja Porter  3 days back

          All i can say is California..😩

          • Cry
            Cry  4 days back

            It's just a fish but a lizard

            • Zaneel
              Zaneel  4 days back

              Did ichthyosaurs breath air like marine mamals or did they converge back on gills? Did the lack of oxygen in the water kill off their prey and subsequently them or did it kill them directly?

              • Aaron J
                Aaron J  2 weeks back

                well, with all the ice melting in the world, we're bound to go back to living in the ocean too. at least these dolphin-reptiles knew life on land wasn't gonna last and headed back to sea.

                • carvling
                  carvling  2 weeks back

                  Imagine being so prolific for your auto-tuned off-key singing about an evolutionary event

                  • Indonesia Ball
                    Indonesia Ball  4 weeks back

                    how he say the " the Cambrian explosion " remind me of the " history of world I guess " video.

                    • Pikasammiechu 101
                      Pikasammiechu 101  1 months back

                      That moment when you attempt Bill Wurtz tune of "Its the Cambrian Explosion !!!" 😂😂😂

                      • TYTO
                        TYTO  1 months back

                        ahh so interesting!

                        • Hiro Kurobane
                          Hiro Kurobane  1 months back

                          4:19,, that's really BIG

                          • Un Mapache Sexy
                            Un Mapache Sexy  1 months back

                            iT's ThE CaAaAAMbRiAN exPlOciONNNN

                            • Ouroborus
                              Ouroborus  2 months back

                              IT was more like 70 - 30. After the last great War with the Reptiles. Many Left Earth and the others went up on the land.

                              • Khyrid
                                Khyrid  2 months back

                                Imagine somehow some of these things survived to today, you are in the ocean swimming and you think you have been visited by a friendly dolphin, then you see it closer.

                                • josh L
                                  josh L  2 months back

                                  Should have been named as dolphineCastroRevolutionSaurus.

                                  • Shelby Muffoletto
                                    Shelby Muffoletto  2 months back

                                    Im sorry did he reference Bill Wurtz

                                    • X. P.
                                      X. P.  2 months back

                                      Am I the only one who’s freaked out by the bone structures in the californasaur’s flipper? How do fingers become that?

                                      • Zaneel
                                        Zaneel  4 days back

                                        Whale flippers are similar. The how is basically that webbed feet work better than toes, and flippers are better than webbed feet in that environment and an unimaginable long amount of time.

                                    • Woko100
                                      Woko100  2 months back

                                      Ichtyosaurs: TO THE GILLOUTINE trilobite

                                      • Name not found
                                        Name not found  2 months back

                                        2:37 _There’s always a bigger fish._

                                        • broderick kurtz
                                          broderick kurtz  2 months back

                                          Did you make a Bill Wurtz reference?

                                          • ReZ Breaker
                                            ReZ Breaker  2 months back

                                            2:22
                                            stop. Love your channel but just stop

                                            • Madalin Grama
                                              Madalin Grama  2 months back

                                              You gotta do an episode on each of the major groups of marine reptiles: long-necked plesiosaurs, mosasars and my personal favorites, the pliosars.

                                              • Mark Thommes
                                                Mark Thommes  2 months back

                                                here is a relative of those big eyed fish, says it dates back 300 million years in its ancestry http://www.fox13news.com/news/fisherman-catches-strange-dinosaur-like-creature?fbclid=IwAR1H5ETlt4CHhEWP-qqHaxQG2auYpbwp-v3TveolcfZ4avGf3IMmR2FkdiE#/

                                                • Mark Thommes
                                                  Mark Thommes  2 months back

                                                  i saw this and remembered this video and searched around for it to share

                                              • Jiolo Macling
                                                Jiolo Macling  2 months back

                                                can i ask where the piano music just before the ending music?

                                                • Jordi Vanderwaal
                                                  Jordi Vanderwaal  2 months back

                                                  Human: leads a revolution => goes to jail.
                                                  Ichthyosaur: leads a revolution => is praised millions of years after it goes extinct.

                                                  • Mad Cinder
                                                    Mad Cinder  2 months back

                                                    I still like Hank better as a host, but this guy is good.
                                                    Kinda looks like Indy Neidell, which makes me feel more at home.

                                                    • Kirby Proffitt
                                                      Kirby Proffitt  2 months back

                                                      I do t understand how information to grow thicker shells is passed on to the next generation, if the animal that needed it got eaten. How?

                                                      • Hm Grraarrpffrzz
                                                        Hm Grraarrpffrzz  2 months back

                                                        You have a species of animals. Those inviduals with a thin shell get killed. Those with a thicker shell survive and pass the genes for a thicker shell to their offspring -> next generation is more likely to have thicker shells.

                                                    • T Chy
                                                      T Chy  2 months back

                                                      pretty insane that sharks saw the rise & fall of both icthyosaurs & mosasaurs

                                                      • Forever Happy
                                                        Forever Happy  2 months back

                                                        Hey PBS i would like you to cover animals cannibalistic tendecies.I know every animal can have these tendecies but intuitive part of me wants to connect everything to bigger picture.Im gona bring some hypothese on the play here.Tyrannosaurus had cannibalistic tendecies.Does this come from the type of the enviroment he was living back in later crateous without any direct competition from other huge meat eaters.We know in north Africa back in early creteous there was an ecosystem with more then one specie at the top of the food chan.There was Charcarodontosaurus,Spinosaurus,huge croks...The reason for herbivore dinosaurs to merge in the groups is to be safer.The reason for carnivores to merge into the groups is to be able to hunt biger pray but in north Africa for carnivore dinosaurs the roots of merging in social group might have the same reason as the herbivores,to be safer in the enviroment.Imagine one Spinosaurs walking near the river,if he comes in touch with group of 5 huge Carcarodontos,hes not gona have a good time.Social structure should bring much higher understanding and intelligence overall in the species so it negates the idea of cannibalism but this is not case with Giganotosaurus at least not in the brain size.Those things used to hunt huge long necks and thats why they lived in packs but their brain size was not so big while in north america we have a Trex which brain size has been evolving because of the direct comflict with different type of the animals.Those were hard shelled,defensive Ankilosaurs and Triceratops.Trex needed more cognitive function,binocular vision and intelligence to strike single blow where was needed.This means one animal with expirience can hunt and live alone and be smarter then those who live in the packs.This hypothese falls down at least in this case.Does the enviroment which has more competitors for the same food niche produces behaviour less canibalistic because why would one specie fight its own if there is danger of the other species?How those species they coexist?How do they behave?Maybe huge Carcaros do not need to feel pressured by the competition so they dont merge into the packs,just being solo hunters and not getting into the conflict with other animals might just be a different vision or behavioural idea.Lets take look in this video.Early jurassic seas were abundant with animal life.There were plesiosaurs,ihtiosaurs,fish,sharks all coexisting because its sea enviroment,up and down rotations,left,right,360°,70% of earth covered in water,different level of deepness,tons of fish to eat.Once ihtiosaurs went extinct Mosasaurs slowly took over the niches and now we have different picture.There was ecosystem with Mosasaur on the top,Mosasaur in the middle and the bottom.It means one specie rules everything.The only thing this specie is affraid is its own specie.Once they are on the top of the food chain and the competition is gone there is no need for pack behaviour resulting in more of cannibalism.Now take that picture of ancient seas and pay attention to the first sentence i wrote.Compare this enviroment of Mosasaur rule with Trex.The only difference is that in Trex world there were no other tyrannosaurs filling the niches.Its just one big bad Trex and next to him were raptors.It means he is the only one there,so why not cannibalism?im gona shut up now.

                                                        • Genji Takiya
                                                          Genji Takiya  2 months back

                                                          It's a generalist.. not a specialist

                                                          • Steven Smith
                                                            Steven Smith  2 months back

                                                            All this has happened before, and all this will happen again.

                                                            • Nikhil Tuli
                                                              Nikhil Tuli  2 months back

                                                              Looks like a danger dolphin!!

                                                              • Bovine Terror
                                                                Bovine Terror  2 months back

                                                                Omg Cartorhynchus is so adorable!

                                                                • Emerson Han
                                                                  Emerson Han  3 months back

                                                                  Fish: I wonder what the great dying was like
                                                                  Humans: I can help you with that

                                                                  • SKPjoe Coursegold
                                                                    SKPjoe Coursegold  3 months back

                                                                    singing............................................stick to your day job.

                                                                    • SmaCk You d1cK
                                                                      SmaCk You d1cK  3 months back

                                                                      something very certain when that dinosaurs lead revolution. they will wear yellow jacket or umbrella

                                                                      • Matthew Chenault
                                                                        Matthew Chenault  3 months back

                                                                        Did... did he just reference “History of the entire world, I guess”?

                                                                        • Jourdan Wolf
                                                                          Jourdan Wolf  3 months back

                                                                          2:22 My man been watching Bill Wurtz 😂

                                                                          • Toke Bro
                                                                            Toke Bro  3 months back

                                                                            2:21 u know where that melody is from :)

                                                                            • I E
                                                                              I E  3 months back

                                                                              4:07 ...because of the frontheavy mass distribution (asymmetric wave oscillation)

                                                                              • Elizabeth Sucher
                                                                                Elizabeth Sucher  3 months back

                                                                                These are great vids! THANKS!

                                                                                • 6Twisted
                                                                                  6Twisted  3 months back

                                                                                  It’s weird how evolution often comes up with completely different designs to tackle the same problem. I wonder how many species are actually optimal.

                                                                                  • Devon Robinson
                                                                                    Devon Robinson  3 months back

                                                                                    3:03 Am I the only one who thinks that Cartorhynchus is the most adorable thing in the world.

                                                                                    • Harneev D
                                                                                      Harneev D  3 months back

                                                                                      Who else actually thinks prehistoric animals are cooler than our modern day animals

                                                                                      • Soy Baniszewski
                                                                                        Soy Baniszewski  3 months back

                                                                                        Modern Ichthyosaurs: Dolphins

                                                                                        • Burt1038
                                                                                          Burt1038  3 months back

                                                                                          Man, this video is making me hungry for some seafood. Maybe redfish with scallops and crabmeat.

                                                                                          • Emblazened
                                                                                            Emblazened  3 months back

                                                                                            2:21 Thank you for the Bill Wurtz.