A marine megapredator from the Cretaceous has been discovered by a team of researchers

A marine megapredator from the Cretaceous has been discovered by a team of researchers

Better not to swim Morocco in the Upper Cretaceous. Well, fortunately, man appeared 60 million years later, but at the same time, there is something animal that roamed the seabed at that time. It is an international team, bringing together researchers from the Paris Paleontological Research Center (National Museum of Natural History, CNRS, Sorbonne University), the Universities of Bath and Bilbao and the Office Serifion des Phosphates (Morocco) that developed this megapredator. .

Belonging to the Mosasar family, Reptile Sailors, he was baptized, Thalassociton atrax, “from the Greek thalassa (sea), titan, (giant) and atrax, (cruel, merciless),” notes a press release from the National Museum of Natural History. It establishes character. Here’s the museum’s description of it: “It was a mosasaur with a short, broad snout with massive, conical teeth like modern orcs. Stuffed, this mega-predator had a massive 1.4-meter skull and a body nearly 12 meters long. “Twice the maximum size of a great white shark…

An exceptional appetite

So he lived 67 million years ago, in the Upper Cretaceous, “when the Atlantic Ocean covered part of Morocco with a shallow sea.” Other types of mosasaurs roamed the area Thalassociton atrax was at the top of the food chain. “The jaws and teeth of this large sea lizard were used to grab and tear apart large prey,” the press release said. According to the shape and condition of broken and worn teeth Thalassociton atrax, its diet must have consisted of large fish and other vertebrates, the carcasses of which greatly damaged its teeth. »

In addition, paleontologists found nearby “numerous fossilized remains of marine vertebrates decomposed by acids, possibly the result of digestion by a predator”. Among these remains, the researchers identified a “big fish, A sea ​​turtleRemains of a head of a plesiosaur [grand reptile aquatique] Half a meter long, and the jaws of at least three different species of small mosasaurs. So, it is better not to cross paths Thalassociton atrax

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *