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Found 7 results

  1. Baby tylosaurine skull from Kansas

    Hey everyone I just got news of a recently described set of juvenile Tylosaurus cranial remains! This cranial material is from the Santonian Smoky Hill Chalk Member (part of the Niobrara Fm.) of western Kansas. What's really exciting is that this specimen (FHSM VP-14845) originated from a neonate (newborn) individual, which can reveal numerous details about mosasaur growth and ontogeny. I've attached the paper below: Konishi, T., P. Jimenez-Huidobro, and M. W. Caldwell. 2018. The smallest-known neonate individual of Tylosaurus (Mosasauridae, Tylosaurinae) sheds new light on the tylosaurine rostrum and heterochrony. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. DOI: 10.1080/02724634.2018.1510835. Abstract: We here report on the smallest-known, neonate-sized Tylosaurus specimen, FHSM VP-14845, recovered from the lower Santonian portion of the Niobrara Chalk exposed in Kansas, U.S.A. Lacking any associated adult-sized material, FHSM VP-14845 comprises fragmentary and associated cranial bones, here considered to represent a single neo- natal individual with an estimated skull length of 30 cm. Despite its small size, a suite of cranial characters diagnoses FHSM VP-14845 as a species of Tylosaurus, including the elongate basisphenoid morphology. At the same time, FHSM VP-14845 unexpectedly lacks a conical predental rostrum on the premaxilla, generally regarded as diagnostic of this genus. Further, the first and the second premaxillary teeth are closely spaced, with the second set positioned posterolateral to the first, contributing to the overall shortness of the dentigerous premaxilla. Because a conical predental rostrum is already present in ontogenetically young specimens of T. nepaeolicus and T. proriger with respective skull lengths of approxi- mately 40 and 60 cm, formation of such a rostrum must have taken place very early in postnatal ontogeny. Our recognition of a neonate-sized Tylosaurus specimen without an elongate predental rostrum of the premaxilla suggests hypermorphosis as a likely heterochronic process behind the evolution of this iconic tylosaurine feature. Partial pterygoids of the newborn Tylosaurus. Taken from fig. 4 of Konishi et al. (2018) Here's the paper - hope you'll enjoy it! Juvenile tylosaur skull.pdf -Christian
  2. After stuffing my face into tons of scientific articles on Late Cretaceous Lamniformes, I decided that I'd want to draw some sharks. Here's a drawing of the two infamous sharks of the Niobrara Formation Cretoxyrhina mantelli and Squalicorax falcatus as partners-in-crime. I've made the Cretoxyrhina ≈6-7 meters and the Squalicorax ≈2 meters. As 2 meters would be the same size as a very tall 6'6" human, you could imagine the Squalicorax as the tallest ordinary human and see how much bigger Cretoxyrhina is. I've always felt like Squalicorax would commonly accompany predators like Cretoxyrhina to "help" strip bare the latter's kill (Crow sharks are indeed inferred by scientists as opportunistic feeders or scavengers), almost as if Ginsus had them as little cronies. Also, the common name Crow Shark sounds somewhat similar to crony. Now what if we started a new nickname for Squalicorax as a crony? That would be hilarious and maybe realistic. EXTRAS
  3. Smoky Hill Chalk

    Hello everyone, It's the Amateur Paleontologist. In about a year and a half, I will be going for a few weeks to Kansas, and I am focused on collecting fossils from the Smoky Hill Chalk. I was wondering whether some people could give me a few details (GPS coordinates, landowner contact information...) about various Smoky Hill Chalk sites where vertebrate fossils (in particular reptile remains...) can be encountered relatively commonly. Many thanks for your help. Best wishes, Christian.
  4. Hi all, I was going through some smoky hill chalk coprolites that I recently acquired and found one with some interesting inclusions. At first I was thinking these were skull fragments, but after looking at the Oceans of Kansas site, the only thing that I could find that had a similar texture were Ptychodus sp. teeth and what looks like cartilage. I have never seen cartilage in a coprolite before. I would think it would be easily digested, so perhaps it is just bone. There are also numerous fish bones and scales, so if our poopetrator did dine on Ptychodus, it had a diverse palate. I have not seen anything similar and would love your opinions on this. Thank you in advance!
  5. Mosasaur Humerus?

    Hi everyone. I recently bought this Mosasaur fossil that was labeled as a Tylosaurus Humerus, and i just wanted to check if this is indeed a humerus or another part of a mosasaur because looking at some pictures on the internet of mosasaurs (and Tylosaurs) it could also be a radius. It is 5 and a half inches in length and was collected in the Niobrara Formation in the Smoky Hill Chalk (Kansas). Since i am not an expert on mosasaurs (i am still learning about them) and my knowledge is limited, i was hoping someone who knows about mosasaurs could help out in confirming if this does belong to a Tylosaurus and if it is a humerus or a different part. I do trust the seller i just thought it would be worth posting on the forum to see what others think. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
  6. I prepped another Niobrara coprolite and found an interesting inclusion. With my limited knowledge of fish anatomy, My best guess is some kind of connecting bone where the vertebrae meet the skull? The coprolite contains both large and small fish vertebrae in addition to this bone. Thanks in advance for your help!
  7. @Ramo was kind enough to send me some Niobrara coprolites to study. I decided to prep out a bone inclusion that was visible on the surface. I'm not a fish expert, so I'm guessing a preopercular fragment? Thanks for looking!
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