Period of life: 71-66 MYA
Length: 10-17 m
Mosasaurus is an extinct carnivorous marine reptile which ived in the Cretaceous period about 70 million years ago. It roamed the United States, Europe, Africa, New Zealand, and Antarctica waters. In the translation from Greek, the name means "Lizard of the Meuse River.” First fossil discovery dates back to 1804, when a group of archaeologists unearthed perfectly preserved back bones and part skeleton on Cedar Island.
The body length of various Mosasaurs species varied from 10 to 17 metres. Moreover, the size of the carcass and jaws determined the eating habits. Thus, the smaller aquatic reptiles M. lemonnieri had a skull size of 42 centimetres and a body of 4.6 metres in length. Its teeth were small, spearing, and the jaws - long and narrow. The reptile fed on fish and mussels. The largest species, like M. hoffmanni, could prey on marine reptiles of their kind, turtles and even dinosaurs. They were able to tear prey apart with powerful jaws and sharp teeth.
Mosasaurus’ could move very fast at a speed of more than 20 km/h. The tail length was almost half of its body size with a two-lobed fin at the end. It had symmetrical flippers on both body halves. Scientists suggest that the ominous reptile had a bad sense of smell due to poor Jacobson’s organ development. By contrast, it had excellent vision due to the large eye sockets. According to the research, underwater dinosaurs were warm-blooded and had a high metabolic rate.
Order: Squamates or scaled
Length: 10-17 m
Weight: 14 tonnes
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