This Prognathodon mosasaur tooth is one of my favourite specimens in this category. The root is completely intact with almost no erosion and the crown itself is well preserved with rich hues of chocolate brown. There one small glued fracture near the tip; most mosasaur teeth have more repair than this. Other than that, this fossil is completely natural. The shape and preservation of this tooth is outstanding.
Species: Prognathodon anceps
Location: Oued Zem, Morocco
Length (entire specimen): 97.67mm (3.845”)
Width (entire specimen): 67.85mm (2.671”)
Length of tooth with root: 87.75mm (3.455")
Weight: 128.71 grams (4.54 oz.)
Mosasaurs (from Latin Mosa meaning the 'Meuse river', and Greek σαύρος sauros meaning 'lizard') are an extinct group of large marine reptiles containing 38 genera in total. Their first fossil remains were discovered in a limestone quarry at Maastricht on the Meuse in 1764. Mosasaurs probably evolved from an extinct group of aquatic lizards known as aigialosaurs in the Early Cretaceous. During the last 20 million years of the Cretaceous period (Turonian-Maastrichtian ages), with the extinction of the ichthyosaurs and pliosaurs, mosasaurs became the dominant marine predators. They became extinct as a result of the K-Pg event at the end of the Cretaceous period, about 66 million years ago.
Mosasaurs breathed air, were powerful swimmers, and were well-adapted to living in the warm, shallow inland seas prevalent during the Late Cretaceous period. Mosasaurs were so well adapted to this environment that they gave birth to live young, rather than returning to the shore to lay eggs as sea turtles do.
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