A new study states that Mosasaurs gave birth out in open ocean waters and not near shorelines.
The study, which was conducted by the paleontologists from the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History and published in the Paleontology journal, states that Mosasaurs, a humongous marine lizard that lived in every ocean around the world during the age of the dinosaur, gave birth to their young ones in the open ocean, not on or near shore.
Mosasaurs, which could grow to 50 feet long, were predators that lived during the time of the dinosaurs. Mosasaurs populated most waters of the Earth before their extinction 65 million years ago. They were massive, serpent-like carnivorous that lived in the shallow seas during the Late Cretaceous Period. They became the apex predator during their time with the extinction of ichthyosaurs and decline of plesiosaurs. They had shark-like teeth and ate fish, turtles, mollusks, and shellfish.
Daniel Field, a doctoral candidate at the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History, and the lead author of the study, said, “Mosasaurs are among the best-studied groups of Mesozoic vertebrate animals, but evidence regarding how they were born and what baby mosasaur ecology was like has historically been elusive.”
For their study, the paleontologists focused on the youngest mosasaur specimens found in the extensive fossil collection at the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History. According to the paleontologists, these specimens were collected over 100 years ago. They had previously been thought to belong to ancient marine birds. However, after studying their jaw and teeth features the paleontologists concluded that they belonged to mosasaurs.
Interestingly, these fossils were found in deposits in the open ocean.
“Contrary to classic theories, these findings suggest that mosasaurs did not lay eggs on beaches and that newborn mosasaurs likely did not live in sheltered near-shore nurseries,” added Aaron LeBlanc, a doctoral candidate at the University of Toronto at Mississauga and a member of the study.
The paleontologists now believe that their findings could shed new light on the mosasaurs.