Facts about Mosasaurs, an extinct prehistoric animal

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Dinosaur Jungle   >   Other Prehistoric Animals   >   Mosasaurs

Mosasaurs



Mosasaurus
Click here for more Mosasaur Pictures

Scientific Classification
  Kingdom Animalia
  Phylum Chordata
  Class Sauropsida
  Order Squamata
  Suborder Scleroglossa
  Infraorder Anguimorpha
  Family Mosasauridae
Mosasaurs are a group of extinct marine reptiles. They were powerful swimmers with long streamlined snake-like bodies (although they did have four limbs all finned, and possibly a finned tail), and ate fish, turtles, sea urchins, and shellfish including molluscs. The smallest known mosasaur was about 10 feet (3 meters) long, but the largest grew as long as 57 feet (17.5 meters).

Mosasaurs were not dinosaurs, but were lepidosaurs (reptiles with overlapping scales, the group that includes lizards, snakes, and sphenodonts such as the tuatara):
  • Mosasaurs are believed to have evolved from aigialosaurs, which were semi-aquatic lizards that lived during the early Cretaceous period, and who are believed to be related to monitor lizards.

  • In 1869, Edward D. Cope suggested that Mosasaurs and snakes share a common marine ancestor. This idea was based on the similarities observed in Mosasaur and snake jaws, the reduced limbs, and the fact that Mosasaurs may have moved in a similar way to snakes. In the 1990s, the discovery of fossils of early snakes with vestigial limbs in marine sediments seemed to provide support for this hypothesis. However, more recently, other early snake fossils have been found, and since these show animals with hind limbs and an apparently burrowing lifestyle, some doubt has been cast on the idea that Mosasaurs and snakes shared a common ancestor.
Mosasaur skeletions:
Mosasaur fossils

Mosasaurs appear to have first evolved during early or middle Cretaceous period, perhaps around 96 million years ago. In the last 20 million years of the Cretaceous, following the extinction of Ichthyosaurs, they became the dominant predators. However, all Mosasaurs died out during the mass extinction at the end of the Cretaceous period.

The first publicized discovery of a Mosasaur fossil occurred in 1778. A fossil was found in a limestone quarry in 1780, near the city of Masstricht in Holland. It was not however named or scientifically described until later, the name eventually given, Mosasaur, means "Meuse lizard", and refers to the nearby Meuse River. Subsequently, other fossils which had been found earlier in the same area, and had been on display since around 1770, were also identified as being from a Mosasaur. Since then, other Mosasaur fossils have been found in many other countries around the world, including Australia, Canada, Denmark, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Sweden, and the United States, as well as in Africa and off the coast of Antarctica.

Mosasaurs Timeline:



Mosasaurs were marine reptiles that lived between 96 and 65 million years ago

Mosasaurs were marine reptiles that lived between 96 and 65 million years ago


Related Information & Resources


See Also

Mosasaur Books


Here are some books from Amazon.com:

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Mosasaurs (Ancient Marine Life)
By Kate Moening

Bellwether Media
Released: January 1st, 2023
Paperback (24 pages)

Mosasaurs (Ancient Marine Life)
Lowest New Price: $8.99*
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Description:
Mosasaurs (Ancient Marine Life)
  • Manufacturer: Bellwether Media
  • EAN: 9798886872194
Details:
  • Paperback
  • Number of Pages: 24
  • Author: Kate Moening
  • Publication Date: January 1st, 2023
  • Release Date: January 1st, 2023
Physical Description:
  • Weight: 0.031 Pounds
Click here for more information
Marked by the Mosasaur: A Dinosaur Shifter Romance (Dinosaur Shifter Island Book 4)
By Nessa Claugh

Kindle Edition (16 pages)

Marked by the Mosasaur: A Dinosaur Shifter Romance (Dinosaur Shifter Island Book 4)
Lowest New Price: $0.99*
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Description:
Marked by the Mosasaur: A Dinosaur Shifter Romance (Dinosaur Shifter Island Book 4)

Details:
  • Kindle Edition
  • Format: Kindle eBook
  • Number of Pages: 16
  • Author: Nessa Claugh
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Mosasaur, the Return: Book Two of the Mosasaur Series
By David D. Holt

Authorhouse
Released: January 23rd, 2009
Paperback (352 pages)

Mosasaur, the Return: Book Two of the Mosasaur Series
Lowest New Price: $17.99*
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Description:
Mosasaur, the Return: Book Two of the Mosasaur Series
  • Manufacturer: AuthorHouse
  • Brand: Authorhouse
  • ISBN: 1438925972
  • EAN: 9781438925974
Details:
  • Paperback
  • Number of Pages: 352
  • Author: David D. Holt
  • Publication Date: January 23rd, 2009
  • Release Date: January 23rd, 2009
Physical Description:
  • Size: 9.0 Inches by 6.0 Inches by 0.88 Inches
  • Weight: 1.14199451716 Pounds
Features:
  • Used Book in Good Condition
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The Last Living Mosasaur
By Paul M Olsen III

Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
Released: December 5th, 2017
Paperback (26 pages)

The Last Living Mosasaur
Lowest New Price: $8.00*
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Description:
The Last Living Mosasaur
  • Manufacturer: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
  • Brand: Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
  • ISBN: 1981467637
  • EAN: 9781981467631
Details:
  • Paperback
  • Number of Pages: 26
  • Author: Paul M Olsen III
  • Publication Date: December 5th, 2017
  • Release Date: December 5th, 2017
Physical Description:
  • Size: 9.02 Inches by 5.98 Inches by 0.06 Inches
  • Weight: 0.11 Pounds
Click here for more information
The Mother Iguanodon and the Fierce Mosasaur (The Deluxe Bedtime Story for Kids)
By Vivian Ice

Kindle Edition

The Mother Iguanodon and the Fierce Mosasaur (The Deluxe Bedtime Story for Kids)
Lowest New Price: $3.95*
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Description:
The Mother Iguanodon and the Fierce Mosasaur (The Deluxe Bedtime Story for Kids)

Details:
  • Kindle Edition
  • Format: Kindle eBook
  • Author: Vivian Ice
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Ancient Sea Reptiles: Plesiosaurs, Ichthyosaurs, Mosasaurs, and More
By Darren Naish

Smithsonian Books
Released: February 28th, 2023
Navy Hardcover (192 pages)

Ancient Sea Reptiles: Plesiosaurs, Ichthyosaurs, Mosasaurs, and More
Lowest New Price: $29.95*
In Stock.*
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Description:
Ancient Sea Reptiles: Plesiosaurs, Ichthyosaurs, Mosasaurs, and More
  • Manufacturer: Smithsonian Books
  • ISBN: 1588347273
  • EAN: 9781588347275
Details:
  • Hardcover
  • Number of Pages: 192
  • Author: Darren Naish
  • Publication Date: February 28th, 2023
  • Release Date: February 28th, 2023
Physical Description:
  • Size: 10.23 Inches by 7.94 Inches by 0.77 Inches
  • Weight: 2.0 Pounds
  • Color: Navy
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Mosasaur-Terror of the Ancient Seas
By Paolo F Fagone

Independently published
Released: November 28th, 2022
Paperback (151 pages)

Mosasaur-Terror of the Ancient Seas
Lowest New Price: $12.50*
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Description:
Mosasaur-Terror of the Ancient Seas
  • Manufacturer: Independently published
  • EAN: 9798366015387
Details:
  • Paperback
  • Number of Pages: 151
  • Author: Paolo F Fagone
  • Publication Date: November 28th, 2022
  • Release Date: November 28th, 2022
Physical Description:
  • Size: 9.61 Inches by 6.69 Inches by 0.35 Inches
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The Mosasaur - Volume 1, January 1983: The Journal of the Delware Valley Paleontological Society
By Earl A Shapiro Editor, William B. Gallagher, Judith B Weisshample & Frank Bukowsi

Independently published
Released: January 1st, 1983
Paperback (128 pages)

The Mosasaur - Volume 1, January 1983: The Journal of the Delware Valley Paleontological Society
Lowest New Price: $3.98*
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Description:
The Mosasaur - Volume 1, January 1983: The Journal of the Delware Valley Paleontological Society
  • Manufacturer: Independently published
  • EAN: 9798373680233
Details:
  • Paperback
  • Number of Pages: 128
  • Authors: Earl A Shapiro Editor, David C. Parris, William B. Gallagher, David B. Weishample, Judith B Weisshample, Peter Dodson, Frank Bukowsi
  • Publication Date: January 1st, 1983
  • Release Date: January 1st, 1983
Physical Description:
  • Size: 11.0 Inches by 8.5 Inches by 0.29 Inches
Click here for more information
Oceans of Kansas, Second Edition: A Natural History of the Western Interior Sea (Life of the Past)
By Michael J. Everhart

Indiana University Press
Released: September 11th, 2017
Hardcover (460 pages)

Oceans of Kansas, Second Edition: A Natural History of the Western Interior Sea (Life of the Past)
List Price: $50.00*
Lowest New Price: $42.54*
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Description:
Oceans of Kansas, Second Edition: A Natural History of the Western Interior Sea (Life of the Past)
  • Manufacturer: Indiana University Press
  • Brand: Indiana University Press
  • ISBN: 0253026326
  • EAN: 9780253026323
  • PartNumber: 9780253026323
Details:
  • Hardcover
  • Edition: Second
  • Number of Pages: 460
  • Author: Michael J. Everhart
  • Publication Date: September 11th, 2017
  • Release Date: September 11th, 2017
Physical Description:
  • Size: 11.0 Inches by 8.0 Inches by 1.25 Inches
  • Weight: 3.45 Pounds
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The Princeton Field Guide to Mesozoic Sea Reptiles
By Gregory S. Paul

Princeton University Press
Released: October 18th, 2022
Hardcover (208 pages)

The Princeton Field Guide to Mesozoic Sea Reptiles
List Price: $35.00*
Lowest New Price: $28.03*
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Description:
The Princeton Field Guide to Mesozoic Sea Reptiles
  • Manufacturer: Princeton University Press
  • ISBN: 0691193800
  • EAN: 9780691193809
  • PartNumber: 9780691193809
Details:
  • Hardcover
  • Number of Pages: 208
  • Author: Gregory S. Paul
  • Publication Date: October 18th, 2022
  • Release Date: October 18th, 2022
Physical Description:
  • Size: 11.0 Inches by 8.5 Inches by 0.75 Inches
  • Weight: 2.6 Pounds
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