|The fossils of Acamptonectes densus|
The remains were taken to State Natural History Museum in Braunschweig, where researchers dated to the fossil at 130 million years old. They gave it the name of Acamptonectes densus. The neck vertebrae were so tightly arranged that the species 'couldn't move its neck, so it must have shot through the water like a dart,' museum palaeontologist Ulrich Joger told the BBC. It was this feature that influenced the team's choice of scientific names. Acamptonectes densus translates as 'stiff swimmer.'
It is possible that its speed due to its inflexible form was the reason why it survived the Jurassic extinction event. While it would have been a fish-feeder, its speed would have made it a formidable opponent and swift enough to evade larger predators, such as Liopleurodon. 'It's a spectacular find,' he said. 'It raises new questions about the extinction theory.' Fresh Cretaceous ichthyosaur fossils will allow us greater insight into their evolutionary history and the extinction event.