Mosasaurs, why Tyrannosaurus rex-like teeth?


This 2016 video says about itself:

Animation clips of the ancient New Zealand creatures from the Late Cretaceous (65 million years ago). The mosasaur Taniwhasaurus and the ammonite Gunnarites spathi.

On 16 December 2019, I went to the recently re-opened Naturalis museum.

I will tell you more about it later. This blog post is about dinosaurs and other Mesozoic age reptiles.

As I walked to Naturalis, a passed the reconstructed windmill of the Rembrandt family. On a sail, three great cormorants sitting next to each other. Cormorants, like all birds, are offspring of dinosaurs.

In the reconstructed museum, there is now the big hall with Tyrannosaurus rex Trix and other dinosaurs. There, I met a guide who spoke about Mesozoic reptiles’ teeth. She said that the teeth of fish-eating dinosaurs were less strong than those of Tyrannosaurus rex. That was because biting mainly fish is relatively easy. While tyrannosaur teeth had to cut through harder bones of, eg, other dinosaurs.

However, she said, mosasaurs, marine reptiles, probably also ate lots of fish. Yet, their teeth were stronger than those of fish-eating dinosaurs, more tyrannosaur-like. Is that because maybe mosasaurs ate not only fish, but also marine reptiles with bigger bones than fish, like ichthyosaurs? I asked. Possible, the guide replied. You may ask at the dinosaur lab, on the ground floor of the museum.

At the dino lab, people were extracting Triceratops fossils from rocks. A 3D printer printed a replica of part of a Triceratops head. I asked my mosasaur teeth question. Researcher Fokke van Breukelen was not sure about ichthyosaurs, but said it was possible. Very probably, mosasaurs had such strong teeth because they ate not just fish, but also ammonites. These dinosaur age cephalopods had strong shells, making strong teeth necessary for mosasaurs.

See also here.

4 thoughts on “Mosasaurs, why Tyrannosaurus rex-like teeth?

  1. Pingback: Extinct animals from Turkey, new species discoveries | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  2. Pingback: African plants research in Naturalis museum | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  3. Pingback: Reconstructed Naturalis museum in Leiden, the Netherlands | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  4. Pingback: Mosasaur egg discovery in Antarctica? | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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