Researchers in Canada have identified a new species of ancient marine predator with a 3-foot long skull and crocodile-like snout that once ruled the seas
The Gavialimimus almaghribensis is a new type of mosasaur, which is thought to have lived at the end of the late Cretaceous period 72 to 66 million years ago
The dinosaur was cataloged and named by an international research team, led by Catie Strong of the University of Alberta
The fossilized remains of the reptile have been discovered in Morocco – where more than a dozen types of mosasaurs have been found
What sets this mosasaur – a type of dinosaur capable of breathing air and reaching almost 56 feet in length – is its long, narrow muzzle and interlocking teeth, similar to those of crocodiles and alligators.
Strong said: « Its long snout indicates that this mosasaur was probably adapted to a specific form of predation, or niche partitioning, in this larger ecosystem »
One of those species was the Globidens simplex, whose large, globular teeth were adapted to crush hard prey like shelled animals.
Strong explained, « Not all of the adaptations of this dozen species are so spectacular, and in some cases there may have been some overlap in prey, but overall there is evidence that there has been diversification of these species into different species niches «
The latest discovery in Morocco shows how mosasaurs, who all lived at the same time and in the same place, were able to « branch off and follow their own path through evolution »
Mosasaurs, species, crocodiles
News from the world – FR – Discovery of a new species of mosasaur from Morocco with a 3 feet long skull and a snout of a crocodile catcher Pisces
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