Paleontologists Discover New Species of Mosasaur

Stacey C. Slagle

Robust explained there is evidence that just about every species of the big marine lizard demonstrates variations for various prey items or styles of predation.

“For some species, these diversifications can be really well known, these types of as the incredibly extended snout and the interlocking teeth in Gavialimimus, which we hypothesized as encouraging it to capture speedily relocating prey,” she mentioned.

She added one more exclusive species would be Globidens simplex—described last 12 months by the Caldwell lab—which has stout, globular tooth adapted for crushing challenging prey like shelled animals.

“Not all of the variations in these dozen or so species are this remarkable, and in some instances there might have been some overlap in prey merchandise, but all round there is evidence that there’s been diversification of these species into different niches,” Robust observed.

Alternatively, the most important contrasting hypothesis would be a situation of far more immediate competition amid species. Sturdy reported specified the anatomical differences among the these mosasaurs, even though, the plan of niche partitioning looks more dependable with the anatomy of these various species.

“This does assist give an additional dimension to that variety and exhibits how all of these animals living at the identical time in the very same location have been equipped to branch off and just take their possess paths by way of evolution to be ready to coexist like that,” she stated.

The continues to be of the G. almaghribensis incorporated a meter-prolonged skull and some isolated bones. There was very little to explain the lead to of death of the specimen, which was uncovered in a phosphate mine in Morocco that is prosperous in fossils.

“Morocco is an extremely good spot to find fossils, in particular in these phosphate mines,” Sturdy mentioned. “Those phosphates themselves mirror sediments that would have been deposited in maritime environments, so there are a lot of mosasaurs there.”

Reference: “A new species of longirostrine plioplatecarpine mosasaur (Squamata: Mosasauridae) from the Late Cretaceous of Morocco, with a re-evaluation of the problematic taxon ‘Platecarpus’ ptychodon” by Catherine R. C. Robust, Michael W. Caldwell, Takuya Konishi and Alessandro Palci, 28 September 2020, Journal of Systematic Palaeontology.
DOI: 10.1080/14772019.2020.1818322

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