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History & Heritage


This giant monster terrorized the seas, it has been found in Morocco!

A team of palaeontologists has discovered the remains of a giant mosasaur in Morocco: it is Thalassotitan atrox, a predator that terrorised the seas.

Thalassotitan atrox, a name that says it all. Fossil remains of this giant sea predator have been discovered in the Oulad Abdoun mineral field, in the province of Khouribga, Morocco. The excavation was led by University of Bath paleontologist Dr. Nick Longrich, who can now tell us more about one of the most ferocious and imposing aquatic predators ever discovered. An animal that terrorized the seas millions of years before killer whales and white sharks.



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Une publication partagée par yuri (@urielpeguerra)

Remains of a giant mosasaur in Morocco, the discovery

The transition from the Cretaceous to the Paleogene was characterized by numerous mass extinctions, both in terrestrial and marine ecosystems. And it is precisely on the latter that less information is available than that collected and studied on terrestrial vertebrates. In this context, the discovery by Dr. Nick Longrich and his team of paleontologists is of great importance: the remains of Thalassotitan atrox found in the Oulad Abdoun mineral field in Khouribga, Morocco, offer us for the first time a glimpse of how mosasaurs evolved into the perfect marine predator.

Thalassotitan atrox is a new species of mosasaur, whose traces or remains could not be admired and studied closely until now. At the height of the last Cretaceous period, this creature attained a conformation and size that make it one of the most violent and terrifying predators that the land seas have ever hosted. The latest stage in the evolution of the mosasaurs, which dominated the waters 66 million years ago.

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Published on 16 September 2022