Jurassic Park InGen Files:
Tylosaurus proriger Age:
Late Cretaceous (Turonian-Maastrichtian)Diet:
Around 15 meters when full grown.
Mosasaurs were large, 15 meter long aquatic carnivores from the Late Cretaceous about 90-65 million years ago. The name means 'Meuse Lizard', referring to where the first fossils were found. They prey on a range of sea birds, sharks, large fish, and other marine reptiles.
Mosasaurs breathed air, they were powerful swimmers, and were well-adapted to living in the warm, shallow epicontinental seas prevalent during the Late Cretaceous Period. Mosasaurs were so well adapted to this environment that they gave birth to live young, rather than return to the shore to lay eggs, as sea turtles do. They had a body shape similar to that of modern-day monitor varanid lizards, but were more elongated and streamlined for swimming. Their limb bones were reduced in length and their paddles were formed by webbing between their elongated digit-bones. Their tails were broad, and supplied the locomotive power. Rather than snake-like undulatory movement, the body probably remained relatively stiff to improve hydrodynamic efficiency through the water while the end of the tail provided strong propulsion. The animals lurk and rapidly pounce on passing prey, rather than hunting for it. Mosasaurs had a double-hinged jaw and flexible skull (much like that of a snake), which enabled them to gulp down their prey almost whole, a snakelike habit... After realizing that the DNA he was working with was not from a dinosaur, but a Mosasaur, Dr. Wu began work on breeding a Mosasaur. Obtaining DNA from sea creatures is rare to say the least, since there are no mosquitoes to suck Mosasaur blood out at sea. He theorized that at some point during the Cretaceous, a Mosasaur must have beached itself and a mosquito took the blood meal then. It was very difficult working with the Mosasaur genome as it was extremely fragmentary. Wu filled in the genetic gaps with amphibian DNA which was a perfect match with most species (especially when repairing degraded sex chromosomes). He also filled other gaps in the Mosasaur genome with Monitor lizard, and sea-snake DNA as Mosasaurs are varanoids and thus closely related to both monitor lizards and snakes.
It is strongly suspected that it was a Mosasaur (or some other marine reptile) that attacked and killed the people in the boat during the events of the 2001 incident.
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