World’s smallest Tylosaurus fossil sheds new light on how the ancient marine predator developed its fearsome snout and teeth as it matured.
An 85-million-year-old fossil of a baby “sea monster” unearthed from a chalk formation in Kansas gives scientists a clearer idea of how ancient marine reptiles developed from infancy to adulthood.
The fossil of a newborn Tylosaurus—a predator related to the mosasaur made famous in the Jurassic World movies—is the smallest specimen of the creature ever discovered, according to paleontologists Takuya Konishi and Paulina Jiménez-Huidobro, who conducted the research during their PhD studies in the University of Alberta’s Department of Biological Sciences under the supervision of Michael Caldwell.
The Tylosaurus specimen died shortly after it was born, making the fossil extremely difficult to identify because it had not yet developed the characteristic snout and teeth of adult tylosaurs. As adults, the predatory reptiles could gr...