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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Sea Dragons: Predators of the Prehistoric Oceans
By Richard Ellis

Brand: University Press of Kansas
Released: September 1st, 2003
Hardcover (312 pages)

Sea Dragons: Predators of the Prehistoric Oceans
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Description:
Sea Dragons: Predators of the Prehistoric Oceans
  • Manufacturer: Univ Pr of Kansas
  • Brand: Brand: University Press of Kansas
  • ISBN: 0700612696
  • EAN: 9780700612697
Details:
  • Hardcover
  • Number of Pages: 312
  • Author: Richard Ellis
  • Publication Date: September 1st, 2003
  • Release Date: September 1st, 2003
Physical Description:
  • Size: 9.0 Inches by 7.0 Inches by 1.0 Inches
  • Weight: 1.69976404002 Pounds
Features:
  • Used Book in Good Condition
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Sea Dragons: Predators of the Prehistoric Oceans
By Richard Ellis

University Press of Kansas
Released: October 7th, 2003
Paperback (326 pages)

Sea Dragons: Predators of the Prehistoric Oceans
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Description:
Sea Dragons: Predators of the Prehistoric Oceans
  • Manufacturer: Univ Pr of Kansas
  • Brand: University Press of Kansas
  • ISBN: 0700613943
  • EAN: 9780700613946
Details:
  • Paperback
  • Edition: New edition
  • Number of Pages: 326
  • Author: Richard Ellis
  • Publication Date: October 7th, 2003
  • Release Date: October 7th, 2003
Physical Description:
  • Size: 8.75 Inches by 7.0 Inches by 1.0 Inches
  • Weight: 1.36 Pounds
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Sea Monsters: A Prehistoric Adventure
By Marfé Ferguson Delano

National Geographic Children's Books
Released: October 9th, 2007
Paperback (32 pages)

Sea Monsters: A Prehistoric Adventure
List Price: $6.95*
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Description:
Sea Monsters: A Prehistoric Adventure
  • Manufacturer: National Geographic Children's Books
  • ISBN: 1426301626
  • EAN: 9781426301629
  • PartNumber: col
Details:
  • Paperback
  • Edition: An Official Companion to the Giant Screen Film
  • Number of Pages: 32
  • Author: Marfé Ferguson Delano
  • Publication Date: October 9th, 2007
  • Release Date: October 9th, 2007
Physical Description:
  • Size: 10.81 Inches by 10.0 Inches by 0.17 Inches
  • Weight: 0.3747858454 Pounds
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Marked by the Mosasaur: A Weredinosaur Romance (Weredinosaur Island Book 4)
By Nessa Claugh

Kindle Edition

Marked by the Mosasaur: A Weredinosaur Romance (Weredinosaur Island Book 4)
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Description:
Marked by the Mosasaur: A Weredinosaur Romance (Weredinosaur Island Book 4)

Details:
  • Kindle Edition
  • Format: Kindle eBook
  • Author: Nessa Claugh
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Systematics and Morphology of American Mosasaurs
By Dale A. Russell

The Yale Peabody Museum
Released: March 17th, 2020
Paperback (254 pages)

Systematics and Morphology of American Mosasaurs
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Description:
Systematics and Morphology of American Mosasaurs
  • Manufacturer: The Yale Peabody Museum
  • ISBN: 1933789441
  • EAN: 9781933789446
Details:
  • Paperback
  • Number of Pages: 254
  • Author: Dale A. Russell
  • Publication Date: March 17th, 2020
  • Release Date: March 17th, 2020
Physical Description:
  • Size: 10.0 Inches by 7.01 Inches by 0.53 Inches
  • Weight: 1.07144659332 Pounds
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The Science of Sea Monsters: mosasaurs and other prehistoric reptiles of the sea
By Alex Woolf

The Salariya Book Company
Kindle Edition (31 pages)

The Science of Sea Monsters: mosasaurs and other prehistoric reptiles of the sea
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Description:
The Science of Sea Monsters: mosasaurs and other prehistoric reptiles of the sea
  • Manufacturer: The Salariya Book Company
Details:
  • Kindle Edition
  • Format: Kindle eBook
  • Number of Pages: 31
  • Author: Alex Woolf
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Mosasaur, the Return: Book Two of the Mosasaur Series
By David D. Holt

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

Mosasaur, the Return: Book Two of the Mosasaur Series
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Mosasaur, the Return: Book Two of the Mosasaur Series
  • Manufacturer: AuthorHouse
  • Brand: 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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Mosasaurus: Ruler of the Sea - a Smithsonian Prehistoric Pals Book (with Audiobook CD and poster) (Smithsonian's Prehistoric Pals)
By Karen Wagner

Soundprint
Released: June 15th, 2008
Hardcover (32 pages)

Mosasaurus: Ruler of the Sea - a Smithsonian Prehistoric Pals Book (with Audiobook CD and poster) (Smithsonian s Prehistoric Pals)
Lowest Used Price: $37.28*
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Description:
Mosasaurus: Ruler of the Sea - a Smithsonian Prehistoric Pals Book (with Audiobook CD and poster) (Smithsonian's Prehistoric Pals)
  • Manufacturer: Soundprint
  • ISBN: 1592497802
  • EAN: 9781592497805
Details:
  • Hardcover
  • Edition: hardcover book and CD
  • Number of Pages: 32
  • Author: Karen Wagner
  • Publication Date: June 15th, 2008
  • Release Date: June 15th, 2008
Physical Description:
  • Size: 11.25 Inches by 9.0 Inches by 0.75 Inches
  • Weight: 1.2 Pounds
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Prehistoric Sea Reptiles (Prehistoric Animals)
By David West

Windmill Books
Released: February 11th, 2016
Library Binding (24 pages)

Prehistoric Sea Reptiles (Prehistoric Animals)
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  • Manufacturer: Windmill Books
  • ISBN: 150819047X
  • EAN: 9781508190479
Details:
  • Product Category: Library Binding
  • Number of Pages: 24
  • Author: David West
  • Publication Date: February 11th, 2016
  • Release Date: February 11th, 2016
Physical Description:
  • Size: 9.0 Inches by 9.0 Inches by 0.25 Inches
  • Weight: 0.55 Pounds
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What Color were Prehistoric Aquatic Animals? Prehistoric Times What Color were Prehistoric Animals Coloring book Volume 7
By Tracy Lee Ford

Independently published
Released: April 20th, 2020
Paperback (59 pages)

What Color were Prehistoric Aquatic Animals? Prehistoric Times What Color were Prehistoric Animals Coloring book Volume 7
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What Color were Prehistoric Aquatic Animals? Prehistoric Times What Color were Prehistoric Animals Coloring book Volume 7
  • Manufacturer: Independently published
  • EAN: 9798639063008
Details:
  • Paperback
  • Number of Pages: 59
  • Authors: Tracy Lee Ford, Mike Fredericks
  • Publication Date: April 20th, 2020
  • Release Date: April 20th, 2020
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  • Size: 11.0 Inches by 8.5 Inches by 0.14 Inches
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