Scientists in Morocco have found a brand new species of large sea lizard mosasaur that hunted marine reptiles with its huge jaws almost 66 million years in the past, reveals a report by The Independent.
Named Thalassotitan atrox, the creature might have grown as giant as 9 metres in size and are associated to fashionable iguanas and monitor lizards.
According to the University of Bath within the UK, in contrast to beforehand found mosasaurs that will eat small prey corresponding to squid, fish, clams and many others, Thalassotitan atrox really developed to prey on all different marine reptiles that lived in that period. Researchers declare that it was in truth an apex predator of its time, claiming the highest spot on the meals chain.
The chain began with plankton on the backside that consumed nutrient-rich water from the depths of the ocean. Smaller fishes ate up these planktons, whereas bigger fishes would prey on these smaller fishes. The bigger fishes fed mosasaurs and plesiosaurs, which might ultimately be meals for the gargantuan Thalassotitan atrox.
The large sea lizard had an infinite cranium that was 1.4 metres lengthy and had a brief, however huge muzzle with giant cone-shaped enamel which allowed it to seize and rip aside enormous prey with ease.
According to the researchers, a lot of the enamel of the large lizard had been damaged and quite worn out, suggesting its attacking nature, leading to deformation over time.
They additionally got here throughout the stays of the victims of the Thalassotitan, which included a big predatory fish. A sea turtle, a half-metre lengthy head of a plesiosaur and jaws and skulls of at the very least three completely different mosasaur species.
Researchers are of the idea that these prey had been ingested by the creature, who later spit out the bones.
Study co-author Nick Longrich from the University of Bath defined, “We can’t say for certain which species of animal ate all these other mosasaurs. But we have the bones of marine reptiles killed and eaten by a large predator.”
He added, “Thalassotitan was an amazing, terrifying animal. Imagine a Komodo Dragon crossed with a great white shark crossed with a T rex crossed with a killer whale.”
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