13.3" Fossil Mosasaur Tooth And Jaw - Morocco

 
 
 
This is an excellent fossil rooted Moasaur (Prognathodon) tooth and jaw of a Mosasaur (Halisaurus) from Phosphate Deposits near, Khouribga, Morocco. The Platecarpus tooth is 4.8" including the root. The tooth has been broken and an indentation worn in the root. This occurred prior to or during fossilization. The Halisaurus jaw is a 4.2" portion of the mandible (lower jaw) from the right side of the skull and contains 5 teeth. This is an incredible specimen with no restoration or compositing.

_blank
Artists reconstruction of a Halisaurus. By Nobu Tamura


Halisaurus is a comparatively small Mosasaur, maxing out at around 10 feet in length. It was a sleek and likely quick member of the family. Besides it's small size it it had distinctively, backward curving teeth that would likely have been used for grasping slippery prey like fish. A paper describing this species can be found below.

Description of new specimens of Halisaurus arambourgi BARDET & PEREDA SOBERBIOLA, 2005 and the relationships of halisaurinae

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.

_blank
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.
DETAILS
SPECIES
Halisaurus arambourgi, Prognathodon sp.
LOCATION
Khouribga, Morocco
FORMATION
Phosphate Deposits
SIZE
4.8 rooted tooth, 4.2" jaw, 9.6 x 6.8" rock
ITEM
#113117
GUARANTEE
We guarantee the authenticity of all of our
specimens. Read more about our
Authenticity Guarantee.