The Mosasaurs is an aquatic dinosaur which lived about 65 million years ago. It was a huge, carnivorous reptilian having a similar anatomy to the one of snakes and lizards. Although they used their lungs for breathing they were great swimmers and they caught their prey in swallow seas. The prehistoric sea monster may be familiar to people from the movie Jurassic World, in which the Mosasaurs swallowed a whole shark. They could reach up to 50 feet long (approximately 15 meters).
According to a study conducted by paleontologists from Yale University and the University of Toronto the mosasaurs gave birth in the sea and never returned to land, just like sea turtles do. The paper was published in the journal Palaeontology on April10. The question about how aquatic dinosaurs gave birth had been open for a long of time.
The lead author of the story, Daniel Field of Yale University, Department of Geology and Geophysics, explained that mosasaurs are one of the most extensively studied vertebrate animals from the Mesozoic era. However scientist did not have enough evidence regarding how mosasaurs came to lie and what was the baby mosasaurs ecology like.
The paleontologists correctly identified an old fossil at the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History. The fossil was previously wrongly classified as ancient marine birds. According to Field the specimens were collected more than 100 years before. Together with Aaron LeBlanc of the University of Toronto, Field examined several jaw and tooth features of the mosasaurs discovered in the ocean deposits.
They were the youngest mosasaurs fossils at the museum and their small size was the only thing in their characteristics which could indicate that they were birds. LeBlanc explained that their finding contradict previous theories and suggest that mosasaurs did not lay eggs on beaches and their babies did not live in sheltered nurseries nearby the shore.
In fact mosasaurs have birth in the sea and consequently the newborn mosasaurs’ habitat was the ocean itself. Since the birth process of mosasaurs has long been misunderstood, the new clear evidence offers researchers a much definite insight on how the aquatic dinosaur gave birth and also a reason to celebrate this discovery.
Image Source: Martinoraptor