Shonisaurus (Schleich)

4.5 (13 votes)

Shonisaurus was an upper Triassic Ichtyosaur from Northern Ameria that probably fit the ecological niche of today´s sperm whales. The fact that adult animals did not have teeth can as well lead to the conclusion that it could have been a plankton filtering animal. Shonisaurus sikanniensis with a length of some 23m is the largest marine reptile that has been described by now.

Schleich Shonisaurus was released in 2004. It is a really heavy, solid piece of rubber, paying tribute to the animal it represents. It is probably by far the biggest Ichtyosaur reconstruction out there. Being 32cm long, 11cm tall and 15,5cm broad, it dwarfs other Ichtyosaur figures such as Bullyland Ophthalmosaurus or Invicta Ichtyosaurus.

Its colour scheme is, a typical Schleich quality, a dull and monotone tan with a grey underside, with only some brightly blue stripes at the back and some grey dots at the sides for a little variety.
The skin pattern is smooth. Holding this figure in the hands is really fun, for its smoothness makes it a real hand charmer. The figure reveals a big dorsal fin, of which scientists are not sure if it even had one. The head has a nearly triangular shape, showing the closed mouth, the big black eyes and the nostrils. Recent research pointed out that it did probably not have a dorsal fin.

Its bulky belly and the long snout make Schleich Shonisaurus unique amongst other Ichtyosaur figures. It really claims attention on a shelf or in a cabinet. While Schleich is usually well known for their at best average quality of their prehistoric animals, their Shonisaurus is definitely a highlight.

I highly recommend the figure to every collector that does not only focus on the land living dinosaurs! It is out of production and was released only in a small quantity. Yet it´s not as rare as one would suppose. There are always two or three offerings at the same time on ebay Germany, offering this beauty for about 20€ Buy it now, so try your luck there. Also frequently available here on Ebay US.

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Comments 8

  • In my comment 10 years ago I mentioned the species sikanniensis has been reclassified as a species of Shastasaurus. Some years later though it was classified as a species of Shonisaurus again! Mark Witton supports it being a species of Shonisaurus too.

    You mentioned a Bullyland Ophthalmosaurus, but I don’t think they made one, perhaps you’re thinking of their ichthyosaur which has gone by more than one name? Or the Toyway Ophthalmosaurus?

  • […] 2016, but it is far from being one of the gems, which means it will never share a space with their Shonisaurus, Kentrosaurus, or even their Dunkleosteus. Since it’s Schleich, finding this toy should be […]

  • its a great replica even though its based on a old painting in an encyclopedia -schleich are better at making old reconstructions rather than making up to date replicas

  • Yes, I think the more recent reconstructions tend to draw Shonisaurus more Pliosaur – like. Thanks to Sim, too, for your kind correction.

  • @Manuel: Well that’s true. But there are some other Schleich models that are just as nice as this one – it’s just that the awful ones are REALLY awful (and ubiquitous in stores in Europe).

  • A mi sano entender esta es una obra maestra de Schleich, si todos los animales hubiesen sido como éste la historia de dinosaurios de Schleich sería otra.
    Tiene una clara relación con una ilustración de la enciclopedia de los dinaurios y otras criaturas prehistóricas hecha por Dougal Dixon entre otros.

  • This is an outdated reconstruction (from Schleich? Who would’ve thought?), but still kinda neat. And big. I picked it up in a charity shop for a couple of quid, as I will never tire of boasting.

  • Shonisaurus sikanniensis has been reclassified as Shastasaurus sikanniensis.

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