Paleontologists find new Mosasaur species from Morocco

Paleontologists find new Mosasaur species from Morocco

Science News is reporting that Paleontologists have discovered a bizarre new species of mosasaurid based on a skull and parts of the skeleton collected from a phosphate mine southeast of Casablanca in Morocco.

It belongs to Mosasauridae, a family of giant marine lizards with specialized flipper-like limbs and tails. Dr. Nick Longrich, a paleontologist at the University of Bath. Told Science News “some mosasaurs had teeth to pierce prey, others to cut, tear, or crush; now we have Khinjaria acuta, with a short face full of huge, dagger-shaped teeth.”  

He went on to say that “this is one of the most diverse marine faunas seen anywhere, at any time in history, and it existed just before the marine reptiles and the dinosaurs went extinct.” The only known specimen of Khinjaria acuta was recovered from the Phosphates of Sidi Chennane in the Oulad Abdoun Basin Khouribga Province, Morocco.

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