Fossils of ‘terrifying’ large marine reptile Thalassotitan found in Morocco

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esearchers have found fossils of an enormous apex predator that’s been described as “a Komodo Dragon crossed with an awesome white shark crossed with a T. Rex crossed with a killer whale”.

The Thalassotitan atrox was a mosasaur, which had been large marine lizards. It had “huge jaws and tooth’’ that allow it “seize and rip aside big prey”.

Mosasaurs aren’t dinosaurs, however lived within the closing million years of the age of dinosaurs, which signifies that the Thalassotitan atrox lived on Earth similtaneously T. Rex and Triceratops.

The researchers additionally discovered fossils of the Thalassotitan’s potential prey, which embrace no less than three completely different mosasaur species and a plesiosaur, which is one other type of marine reptile.

The fossils present that the Thalassotitan had wounds that might counsel it violently fought with different mosasaurs over feeding grounds or mates.

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Thalassotitan’s tooth are damaged and worn which means that the animal attacked different marine reptiles and broke its tooth because it bit into their bones.

The Thalassotitan was an apex predator

/ College of Tub

“Thalassotitan was a tremendous, terrifying animal,” stated Dr Nick Longrich, who led the examine.

“Think about a Komodo sragon crossed with a great-white shark crossed with a T. rex crossed with a killer whale.”

Fossils of the Thalassotitan atrox had been found in Morocco, close to Casablanca, which was flooded by the Atlantic ocean close to the tip of the Cretaceous interval.

Professor Nour-Eddine Jalil, a co-author on the paper from the Museum of Pure Historical past in Paris, stated: “The phosphate fossils of Morocco supply an unparalleled window on the paleobiodiversity on the finish of Cretaceous.

“They inform us how life was wealthy and diversified simply earlier than the tip of the ‘dinosaur period’, the place animals needed to specialise to have a spot of their ecosystems. Thalassotitan completes the image by taking up the position of the mega predator on the prime of the meals chain.”

“There’s a lot extra to be finished,” added Longrich. “Morocco has one of many richest and most numerous marine faunas identified from the Cretaceous. We’re simply getting began understanding the range and the biology of the mosasaurs.”

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