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

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

Better not to swim Morocco is present in the Upper Cretaceous. Well, fortunately, man appeared 60 million years later, but at the same time, something was wrong with the animal that roamed the seashore at that time. It is an international team that brings together researchers from the Paris Paleontology Research Center (National Museum of Natural History, CNRS, Sorbonne University), the Universities of Bath and Bilbao, and the Office Cherifion des Phosphates (Morocco) that updated this megapredator. .

Belongs to the family of mosasaurs, Des reptiles Sailors, he was baptized, Thalassotitan atrox, “from the Greek thalassa (sea), titan, (giant) and atrox, (cruel, merciless),” according to a press release from the National Museum of Natural History. It situates the character. Here’s the museum’s description of it: “It was a short, broad mosasaur with massive, mushroom-shaped teeth like those of modern orcs. This mega predator had a large skull of 1.4 meters and a body length of about 12 meters. “Twice the maximum size of a great white shark…

An unusual appetite

So, it lived 67 million years ago, in the Upper Cretaceous, “when the Atlantic Ocean covered part of Morocco with a shallow sea.” Other species of mosasaurs roamed the area Thalassotitan atrox was at the top of the food chain. “The jaws and teeth of this large sea lizard were used to grab and tear large prey,” the press release said. Depending on the shape and condition of broken and decayed teeth Thalassotitan atrox, its diet must have included large fish and other vertebrates, the carcasses of which severely damaged its teeth. »

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In addition, paleontologists found nearby “numerous fossil remains of marine vertebrates deteriorated by acids, probably the result of digestion by a predator.” Among these remains, the researchers found “a large fish, A sea ​​turtleRemains of the 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 Thalassotitan atrox

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