10.3" Fossil Mosasaur (Platecarpus) Upper Jaw Section - Kansas

This is a 10.3" long, fossil mosasaur (Platecarpus) upper jaw section. It was found in the Smoky Hill Chalk of the Niobrara Formation in Gove County, Kansas. The jaw has very little restoration with the exception of a some crack repair and gap fill where the jaw was broken during extraction. Only the remaining nubs of the teeth survived being dug up. Regardless, the section is very cool and provides an excellent look into the depth of the tooth sockets and placement of unerupted teeth.

It comes with an acrylic display stand.

An artist's reconstruction of Platecarpus. By Dmitry Bogdanov Creative Commons License
An artist's reconstruction of Platecarpus. By Dmitry Bogdanov Creative Commons License

Platecarpus is an extinct aquatic lizard belonging to the mosasaur family. Fossils have been found in the United States as well as possible specimens in Belgium and Africa. It reached lengths of up to 14 feet long: half of that length was its tail alone. Platecarpus probably fed on fish, squid, and ammonites. Like other mosasaurs, it was initially thought to have swum in an eel-like fashion, though a recent study suggests that it swam more like modern sharks.

The Smoky Hill Chalk Member of the Niobrara Chalk formation is a Cretaceous conservation Lagerstätte, or fossil-rich geological formation, known primarily for its exceptionally well-preserved marine reptiles. It outcrops in parts of northwest Kansas--its most famous localities for fossils--and in southeastern Nebraska. Large, well-known fossils excavated from the Smoky Hill Chalk include marine reptiles such as plesiosaurs, large bony fish such as Xiphactinus, mosasaurs, pterosaurs, and turtles.

Platecarpus sp.
Gove County, Kansas
Smoky Hills Chalk, Niobrara Formation
10.3" long
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