Mosasaur Tooth - 2.30" in Matrix
Mosasaur Tooth - 2.30" in Matrix
Please Note: All Mosasaur teeth will show signs of repair (typically small cracks repaired with penetrative stabilizers). Some teeth will be reassembled. This is the nature of this item and is completely normal. In some cases, we have opted to vertically orient the specimen in pictures to give a better view of the tooth.
Mosasaur Tooth - SOLD 1.78" in Matrix
Mosasaur Tooth - SOLD 2.00" in Matrix
TEMPORAL RANGE: 92,000,000 to 66,000,000 years ago
MORE ABOUT MOSASAURS
"The mosasaur [...] was uniquely specialized to anchor large-sized teeth within powerful jaws..." ~ Min Liu, "Varanoid Tooth Eruption and Implantation Modes in a Late Cretaceous Mosasaur." (2016)
If we look first to the sea, the Mesozoic Era might not be known as the Age of Dinosaurs, but rather as the Age of Marine Reptiles. Beginning with the appearance of the dolphin-shaped Ichthyosaurs in the Triassic Period, the rising seas of the Jurassic Period gave way to a wider variety of large predators including the long-necked plesiosaurs and pliosaurs to the powerful Mosasaurs.
Since the first Mosasaur skull was discovered in 1764, our knowledge of this large family of marine reptiles has come primarily from skeletal remains. Mosasaurs ranged in size from 1.1m (3.3ft) to 17.4m (57 ft). Their skulls were flexible and their jaws are double-hinged. While this arrangement probably allowed a Mosasaur to swallow prey whole, the alignment of a Mosasaur's teeth with "bony crypts" to protect emerging teeth also suggests Mosasaurs likely crushed bones as frequently as they tore into flesh.
📸 ABOVE: A complete skeleton of Tylosaurus dyspelor, a large species of Mosasaur (1899).
📸 A Mosasaur Tooth in Matrix at Mini Museum
The Shape of a Predator
Once thought to be almost crocodile-like in appearance or even related directly to snakes, recent studies have revised our understanding of Mosasaurs giving way to a picture of a streamlined predator well-suited to dominating its environment.
While this evidence alone suggests the Mosasaurs were formidable predators, a spectacular new find in Jordan has revealed that Mosasaurs were "countershaded" with darker pigmentation on the top and lighter on the bottom. Similar soft tissue impressions show that Mosasaurs have tail flukes and true flippers. This new information suggests this already formidable predator could swim much faster, a truly terrifying presence backed long history in the fossil record.
📸 A modern recreation of the Mosasaur
Front of the Specimen Card
Back of the Specimen Card
Cope, Edward Drinker. "Lamarek Versus Weismann." Nature 41 (1889): 79.
Cope, Edward Drinker. The Primary Factors of Organic Evolution. Open Court, 1904.
Everhart, Michael J. Oceans of Kansas. Indiana University Press, 2005.
Lindgren, Johan, et al. "Convergent Evolution in Aquatic Tetrapods: Insights from an Exceptional Fossil Mosasaur." PLoS One 5.8 (2010): e11998.
Lindgren, Johan, et al. "Skin Pigmentation Provides Evidence of Convergent Melanism in Extinct Marine Reptiles." Nature (2014).
Liu, Min, et al. "Varanoid Tooth Eruption and Implantation Modes in a Late Cretaceous Mosasaur." Frontiers in Physiology 7 (2016).
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