40ft Giant Sea Reptile: Meet This Monstrous Old Aquatic Beast

Incredible bones of a large sea lizard have been discovered, giving insight into the dominance of this extinct creature 66 million years ago. The creature is a newly discovered genus of mosasaurs, huge marine reptiles that roamed the seas during the Late Cretaceous and fed on marine life. The attrition on its teeth and other bones discovered at its dig site indicate that this hulking creature, known as the atrox Thalassotitan, was not a large softie, but fed mainly on sea turtles and sea turtles. other mosasaurs.

This suggests that Thalassotitan was a top predator that helped maintain ecosystem stability by limiting the impact of other predators. Mosasaurs were the largest known reptiles, reaching lengths of 12 meters (40 ft) and being twice as massive as today’s largest crocodilians. In contrast, mosasaurs are more distant from living snakes and iguanas. The marine iguanas of the Galapagos Islands are excellent swimmers, but the mosasaurs were even more at home in the water. A reptile head, shark-like fins on the tail and flippers for the feet make up for that.

Given their varied dental structures, distinct species of mosasaurs may have specialized in particular foods. Some of the teeth were sharp and small, ideal for catching fish and squid, while others were wider and flatter, making them well suited for crushing shellfish. It’s more likely that these creatures were predators than scavengers, given that they don’t seem to have a keen sense of smell.

Analysis of specimens suggests that mosasaurs ate a wide variety of prey, including other mosasaurs, fish, cephalopods, turtles, molluscs, and even birds. It seems that Thalassotitan was one of the fiercest. The phosphate fossil deposits in Morocco, a country known for its abundance of well-preserved Cretaceous and Miocene fossils, is where the specimens were found.

Skulls, backbones, leg bones and finger bones are among the bones found. Together, they enabled in-depth analysis of Thalassotitan’s skeleton, shoulders and forelimbs, as well as its head, jaw and teeth. According to Longrich and his colleagues, the species could reach a length of 9 to 10 meters in adulthood. That would make him a bit longer than an orc. Nevertheless, at around 1.5 meters long, its skull was almost twice as long as that of an orca.

Comments are closed.