Buckland, I think, once indulged in the jeu d'esprit of supposing an ichthyosaur lecturing on the human skull.
The ichthyosaur of the Jurassic is a remarkably fish-like animal.
It is supposed to have lived in shallow seas and estuaries, and to have breathed air like the ichthyosaur, and our modern cetacea.
Compared with the ichthyosaur, it was what the giraffe is to the rhinoceros, or the swan to the porpoise.
The ichthyosaur came of the reptile group which we have called the Diapsids.
In the popular mind, perhaps, the ichthyosaur and Plesiosaur are the typical representatives of that extinct race.
Any of various extinct sea reptiles of the genus Ichthyosaurus and related genera, that had a medium-sized to large dolphin-like body with a dorsal fin, four flippers, and a large, crescent-shaped tail. The head had a long beak with sharp teeth, large eyes and earbones, and nostrils near the eyes on top of the skull. Ichthyosaurs were most common and diverse in the Triassic and Jurassic Periods and died out well before the end of the Cretaceous.