Ancient Ocean Predators Looked Much Different Than Today

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Ancient predators living in the ocean during the Late Cretaceous period between 98 and 66 million years ago were actually lizards call mosasaurs.

Ancient predators living in the ocean during the Late Cretaceous period between 98 and 66 million years ago were actually lizards call mosasaurs.
A mosasaur fossil was found with preserved soft tissue that gives scientists a clue about how the creature might have looked with meat on its bones.

For around 200 years, only skeletal fossils of mosasaurs were found.

But in 2008, a 70 million year old fossil from a young six foot long mosasaur that showed evidence of having a forked tail like a shark, was found.

The fossil was dug up by researchers in Amman, Jordan, and was on display for three years before being fully analyzed.

Mosasaurs reportedly grew to be as large as a sperm whale at up to 50 feet long, and were the top predators of their time.

One of the researchers, Johan Lindgren, a paleontologist at Lund University in Sweden said: “The proportions of its body are amazingly similar to those that we see in pelagic sharks.”

Although mosasaurs swam like sharks, their spines curved downwards, which Lindgren thinks might have assisted them when they had to come up for air.

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