Prognathodon Giganteus Mosasaurus Jaws preserved from the Turonian to Maastrichtian ages 93 to 66 million years ago, ages forming part of the greater time division of the Cretaceous era around 135 to 65 million years ago. The massive mandibles in the original partially articulated positions. The scientifically important specimen of what was once a formidable marine predator is encased in a burlap jacket, this to aid preservation when lifting from the fossil bedding plain.
The mandibles consist of two upper parts and two lower parts, these are slightly disarticulated yet in their original placement, in the matrix block; fossil limestone, as at the time of its first discovery in the fossil bed, in the field site. This fossil specimen Mosasaur jaw is a part section of a tremendously large adult individual. The rare and important factor with this specimen being the teeth, which are in exceptionally good condition.
The jaws are huge, the teeth and bone fairly undisturbed; without being crushed, although the bone has obviously moved around the fossil bed, time has been kind and with great care and experienced technical skill of a museum laboratory situation the jaws could be extracted fully for study or display. We prefer for the time being to offer this fossil Mosasaur as is, for scientific study.
The block is very large and quite dynamic in itself and creates a wonderful feature which we consider as a part of natures fossil art.
The teeth of the Prognathodon are in section triangular, very large and robust having serrations to each carinae; the leading or cutting edges of each tooth. The serrations which are often visible to the naked eye. Unless the teeth become dislodged from the reptiles jaws at the time of deposition, or soon after bacteria elements have reduced all the fleshy parts of the animal, the teeth become dislodged. Alternately, often the case during the reptiles lifetime, feeding and pursuing prey, the teeth became dislodged and formed part of the fossil layers singularly. Then the teeth can become worn and lose the freshness they can posses here, still arttached in the mandibles.
An articulated specimen such as this where the teeth have not been rolled in the sediments and carinae serrations are more apt to remain crisp and defined through the fossil process. The teeth here have a fine and preserved patina, the dentin; enamel remains in a very well preserved state and has attained an attractive rich mahogany colour through the per-mineralisation of minerals in the environment of the fossil bed. A wonderful example of the Cretaceous marine scene and of this immense and powerful swimming reptile.
The Mosasaurs with the extinction of the ichthyosaurs and pliosaurs became the dominant marine predators of the age.
The Cretaceous period marine reptile featured in the saga of Jurassic world films. The Mosasaurs were a group of perfectly developed marine predators, resembling a crocodilian and lizard form, huge double hinged jaws and skulls armed with many teeth; It is thought they could unhinge their jaws and gulp down large prey. Powerful flippers and streamlined bodies. At first it was thought that Mosasaurs used their bodies like snakes or eels when swimming, in an undulating side to side movement. However the most recent research nows leads us to theorise their bodies remained stiff and a large fluked tail provided the locomotion which propelled the Mosasaur.
Part of a more ancient group of aquatic lizards, the aigialosaurs group. Mosasaurs breathed air, gave birth to live young and grew from around 3 feet; Dallasaurus turneri, the smallest Mosasaur to 50 feet in length; Mosasaurus hoffmannii, the largest. The Mosasaurs reigned for around 20 million years before the mass extinction which also ended the dinosaurs existence, around 65 million years ago at the K-T boundary event. This was the last 20 million years of the Cretaceous period. The Turonian to Maastrichtian ages.
The first fossils were discovered in an 18th century limestone quarry near Maastricht on the river Meuse. When first discovered the skeleton was thought to be that of a dragon and the major of Maastricht had the fossil bones put on display in a glass case for all to marvel at the size of the amazing new discovery. Not since the Greek cyclops skulls found in the Aegean; prehistoric ice age elephants, had anything impressed the local populous, as did this discovered dragon.
The specimen originating from the Phosphate deposits of Benguerir, Oulad Abdoun Basin, in Morocco. Dating from the Turonian to Maastrichtian age, 93 to 66 million years.