4.6" Mosasaur (Prognathodon) Rooted Tooth In Rock - Nice Tooth

This is a rooted tooth of Prognathodon, a large type of Mosasaur from the Late Cretaceous, phosphate deposits near Khourigba, Morocco. It's still partially embedded in the rock it was found in, but work has been done to expose it and bring it out in nice relief against the rock.

It comes from the phosphate deposits near Khourigba, Morocco. These deposits are mined for phosphate, one of Moroccos biggest exports. The fossils are collected as a byproduct of the mining operations, saving them from certain destruction by the rock crusher.


Artists reconstruction of the mosasaur Prognathodon saturator.
are a family of enormous, marine reptiles that truly dominated the seas 90 million years ago. They ruled during the last 20-25 million years of the Cretaceous period. With the extinction of the ichthyosaurs and decline of plesiosaurs, mosasaurs diversified to become prolific, apex predators in nearly every habitat of the oceanic world.

Larger mosasaurs were the great leviathans of their time, extending 10–15 m, or 33–49 ft long. Hainosaurus holds the record for longest mosasaur, at a seemingly impossible, 57 ft. The smaller genera were still an impressive, 10–20 ft long. Mosasaurs probably evolved from semi-aquatic, scaled reptiles which were more similar in appearance to modern-day monitor lizards. They had double-hinged jaws and flexible skulls (much like that of a snake), which enabled them to gulp down their prey almost whole.

The gruesome, unchewed contents of fossilized mosasaur guts have revealed a varied diet of sea birds, ammonites, smaller marine lizards, possibly shark, and even other mosasaurs. Ammonites were especially crunchy mosasaur treats. They were abundant in the Cretaceous sea, and some Mosasaur had specialized teeth for the job.

Mosasaurs probably lurked for an ambush, rather than hunt, possibly using their powerful tail flukes for extra thrust to dart out and swallow unsuspecting prey. Non-reflective, keeled scales may have been a great advantage to the Mosasaur sneak-

Mosasaurs breathed air and gave birth to live young. The bronchi leading to the lungs run parallel to each other instead of splitting apart from one another as in monitors and other terrestrial reptiles. They were well-adapted to living in the warm, shallow, epicontinental seas of the period.

Although Mosasaurs diversified and proliferated at a spectacular rate, their specialization is considered the source of their demise when marine systems collapsed at the end of the Cretaceous.
Prognathodon sp. (Mosasaur)
Khourigba, Morocco
Phosphate Deposits
4.6" long,
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