- Species Type: Mosasaurus hoffmanni
- Type of Mosasaurs: Squamata
- Period: Late Cretaceous
- Diet: Meat (carnivorous)
- Life Span: Around 42 years
- Length: Up to 56 feet
- Weight: 40,000+ Pounds
19 Mosasaurus Facts for Kids
- The Mosasaurus was discovered in 1764, by lieutenant Jean Baptiste Drouin.
- The Mosasaurus got its scientific name Mosasaurus hoffmanni in 1829, by Gideon Mantell.
- The holotype skeleton for the Mosasaurus hoffmanni is MNHNP AC9648, which is just a skull.
- The name Mosasaurus means: “Lizard of the Meuse River”.
- The name Mosasaurus is pronounced: “MOE-zah-SORE-usis”.
- The Mosasaurus was part of a group of Mosasaurs known as aquatic squamates.
- The Mosasaurus is a member of the Mosasauridae family.
- The Mosasaurus lived in the Late Cretaceous Period between 66 and 70 million years ago.
- The largest discovered specimen of Mosasaurus had a length of up to 56 feet.
- The length of the Mosasaurus was greater then the fearsome Tyrannosaur rex.
- The Mosasaurus was a carnivorous aquatic hunter, and their prey was most likely fish, marine reptiles, birds, pterosaurs, smaller mosasaurs and maybe even land dinosaurs.
- The teeth of a Mosasaurus were shaped like sharp spikes, allowing them grip and hold onto their prey.
- The double-hinged jaw of the Mosasaurus would allow it to swallow its prey whole.
- The Mosasaurus is estimated to have been one of the last of the mosasaurids.
- The Mosasaurus is estimated to have been one of the largest mosasaurids.
- The Mosasaurus spent most of its time near the ocean surface, much like modern whales do, since they breathed air in a similar fashion.
- Paleontologists think the Mosasaurus had live births, just like whales, instead of laying eggs.
- The Mosasaurus could be found in oceans around the globe during the Late Cretaceous Period.
- It’s estimated that the Mosasaurus lived in the waters around North America and western Europe. It’s possible they also lived in the waters around Japan and New Zealand.
A picture of the skull of a Mosasaurus.Credit: Mark A. Wilson
A picture of a Mosasaurus specimen.Credit: Hillsman S. Jackson
A picture of a tooth from a Mosasaurus.Credit: Fossil Era
Additional Resources on the Mosasaurus
- Just About Mosasaurs – Discover more about the Mosasaurs on the Oceans of Kansas website.
- Mosasaurus – Britannica – Learn more about the Mosasaurus on the Britannica website.
- Mosasaurus – Wikipedia – Learn more about the Mosasaurus on the Wikipedia website.