15.0" Fossil Mosasaur Skull Section - Goulmima, Morocco

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
This is a beautiful 15.0" fossil Plate containing Mosasaur (Tethysaurus) skull bones from Goulmima, Morocco. It contains the Frontal (forehead) bone, Parietal (top of the Head) Bone, Occipital (Back of skull), Right Squamosal, a portion of the left Maxxila (upper jaw) and the right Pterygoid bone with eleven teeth,. The Pterygoid bone forms the back of the roof of the mouth just above the throat and in some reptiles contains a second set of teeth that aid in swallowing prey. This amazing specimen is basically the back half of the skull. A rough calculation suggests that when the skull was intact it was approximately 16 inches (40 cm) long.

Comes with a display stand.

Mosasaurs are a family of enormous, marine reptiles that truly dominated the seas 90 million years ago. They ruled during the last 20-25 million years of the Cretaceous period. With the extinction of the ichthyosaurs and decline of plesiosaurs, mosasaurs diversified to become prolific, apex predators in nearly every habitat of the oceanic world.

Artists reconstruction of the mosasaur Prognathodon saturator.
Artists reconstruction of the mosasaur Prognathodon saturator.


Larger mosasaurs were the great leviathans of their time, extending 10–15 m, or 33–49 ft long. Hainosaurus holds the record for longest mosasaur, at a seemingly impossible, 57 ft. The smaller genera were still an impressive, 10–20 ft long. Mosasaurs probably evolved from semi-aquatic, scaled reptiles which were more similar in appearance to modern-day monitor lizards. They had double-hinged jaws and flexible skulls (much like that of a snake), which enabled them to gulp down their prey almost whole.

The gruesome, unchewed contents of fossilized mosasaur guts have revealed a varied diet of sea birds, ammonites, smaller marine lizards, possibly shark, and even other mosasaurs. Ammonites were especially crunchy mosasaur treats. They were abundant in the Cretaceous sea, and some Mosasaur had specialized teeth for the job.



Mosasaurs probably lurked for an ambush, rather than hunt, possibly using their powerful tail flukes for extra thrust to dart out and swallow unsuspecting prey. Non-reflective, keeled scales may have been a great advantage to the Mosasaur sneak-
attack.

Mosasaurs breathed air and gave birth to live young. The bronchi leading to the lungs run parallel to each other instead of splitting apart from one another as in monitors and other terrestrial reptiles. They were well-adapted to living in the warm, shallow, epicontinental seas of the period.

Although Mosasaurs diversified and proliferated at a spectacular rate, their specialization is considered the source of their demise when marine systems collapsed at the end of the Cretaceous.

Tethysaurus is an extinct genus of tethysaurine mosasauroid from the Early Turonian (Late Cretaceous) period. The only species is Tethysaurus nopcsai . .An average-sized mosasaur of 3 m (9.8 ft) length, Tethysaurus displays a number of basal and derived features that led to an initial classification as an intermediate stage between primitive aigialosaurids of the Cenomanian and derived mosasaurids from the Turonian to the Maastrichtian.[
DETAILS
SPECIES
Tethysaurus nopcsai
LOCATION
Goulmima, Morocco
SIZE
15.0 x 7.4"
ITEM
#107177
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