Thursday, April 5, 2012


Prognathodon waiparensis
Prognathodon is a genus of nine extinct lizard species. This genus resides in the Mosasaur family and they lived during the late Cretaceous, ultimately going extinct around 65 million years ago.

Prognathodons lived in oceans around the world, and their fossils have been found in Europe, North America, Africa, and New Zealand. They were absolutely gigantic ocean predators, with some measuring as large as 30ft! We know that Prognathodons lived in deep water, since they had bony protrusions around their eye sockets. This anatomical feature helps sea creatures to withstand higher pressures far below the surface.

The name "Prognathodon" means forejaw tooth, and these marine reptiles certainly had large, powerful teeth and incredibly strong jaw muscles. Prognathodons used their huge, strong mouths to crush the shells of different animals like Turtles and Ammonites. One recently discovered fossil actually included stomach contents!

Status : Extinct for 65 million years
Location : Oceans worldwide
Size : Length up to 30ft (9.1m)
Classification : Phylum : Chordata -- Class : Sauropsida -- Order : Squamata
Family : Mosasauridae -- Genus : Prognathodon

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