3.2" Mosasaur Quadrate (Jaw Bone) w/ Shark Tooth - Smoky Hill Chalk

This is a 3.2" quadrate (jaw bone) from a Platecarpus mosasaur. The bone was collected from the Smoky Hill Chalk of west Kansas. A quadrate is a bone located near the pinch point of the jaw. Its function was to provide structural support to the tympanic membrane (ear drum) of reptiles and amphibians. This particular specimen was found in natural association with a small, unidentified shark tooth.

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.
Western Kansas
Niobrara Formation, Smoky Hill Chalk
3.2" long
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