On the west coast of Morocco, an incredible discovery for paleontology took place, they found fossilized skulls, jaws and other remains of the Thalassotitan atroxa giant mosasaur that lived in the Cretaceous 66 million years ago and that it was like a monstrous killer whale.
Name Thalassotitan comes from the Greek words “thalassa” and “titan”, meaning “sea giant”, and the name of the species atrox translates to “cruel” or “ruthless,” according to the study.
Mosasaurs were a diverse group of marine reptiles distantly related to modern lizards and snakes.
The researchers found that the teeth of T. atrox they were often chipped, broken, or worn, suggesting that the species damaged them while violently attacking and biting at the bones of prey.
Most mosasaurs had long jaws and thin teeth, but T. atrox it developed a shorter, broader snout that increased its bite force and short, conical orca-like teeth that could withstand increased forces when biting large prey, according to the study.
“They tell us how life was rich and diversified just before the end of the ‘age of the dinosaurs,’ where animals had to specialize to have a place in their ecosystems,” he said in a release co-author Nour-Eddine Jalil, collection manager at the Paleontology Research Center of the Natural History Museum in Paris. «Thalassotitan He completes the picture by taking on the role of the mega-predator at the top of the food chain.”