Thalassotitan atrox is the moniker for a newfound mosasaur type of large dimensions that played the role of a mega-predator of the oceans about 66 million years ago. The monster’s fossils were unearthed by paleontologists in Morocco, according to SciTechDaily.
Mosasaurs were practically the counterpart of dinosaurs, only that the formers were doing their dirty work in the seas. Mosasaurs were enormous and feared by many other marine creatures. As for the Thalassotitan atrox mosasaur, it had sea turtles, plesiosaurs, as well as other mosasaurs on the menu. A mosasaur could even reach 12 meters in length, and they possessed huge jaws and teeth.
Dr. Nick Longrich is the scientist who led the new research that led to the Thalassotitan atrox mosasaur’s discovery, and you can see him in the picture above, along with the fossil itself.
To give us a better idea of what the new discovery means, Longrich explained, as SciTechDaily quotes::
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.
Professor Nour-Eddine Jalil, who’s a co-author of the paper from the Museum of Natural History in Paris, stated as the same source quotes:
The phosphate fossils of Morocco offer an unparalleled window on the paleobiodiversity at the end of Cretaceous.
They tell us how life was rich and diversified just before the end of the ‘dinosaur era’, where animals had to specialize to have a place in their ecosystems. Thalassotitan completes the picture by taking on the role of the megapredator at the top of the food chain.
Mosasaurs qualify as reptiles, and they are closely related to snakes and monitor lizards.
The new research was published in ScienceDirect.