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After years of labor, the Smithsonian is able to exhibit these colossal historic sea monsters

Swimming within the ocean at this time would possibly put you head to head with some fairly intimidating predators, however they’re no match for what lurked beneath the waves tens of thousands and thousands of years in the past. When the chunks of land that are actually South America and Africa made their exodus from the supercontinent Gondwana over 100 million years in the past, the ocean that stuffed within the house between them turned dwelling to among the most ferocious ocean predators the Earth has ever seen.

Mosasaurs, which have been lengthy, lizard-like aquatic animals with flippers and big jaws, assumed the position of apex predator, and dominated the seas for tens of thousands and thousands of years. Now, as NPR reviews, new mosasaur skeletons are about to go up on exhibit on the Smithsonian due to the laborious work of paleontologists who’ve been scraping at rock in Africa for over a decade.

The fossils have been present in Angola, situated on the coast of South Africa, and researchers like Louis Jacobs from Southern Methodist College in Texas have been slowly piecing them collectively for years now. The tedious work has resulted in some really beautiful examples of one of many true “sea monsters” in Earth’s historical past. Their work shall be put up for exhibition on Friday on the Smithsonian Establishment in Washington, D.C.

The creatures themselves have been unimaginable beasts, stretching as much as 50 toes lengthy and boasting three-foot-long jaws lined with pointed tooth. It was constructed to rule its area and would have been able to dispatching nearly another animal at will. But it surely wasn’t invincible.

One of many extra fascinating fossils found by paleontologists is definitely the stays of a number of mosasaurs. A bigger specimen ate two of its youthful friends, and bones of each of the animals have been discovered within the bigger creature’s abdomen. A grotesque discovery to say the least, however there’s extra; dotting what would have been the outside of the biggest mosasaur’s physique are shark tooth.

No, the shark (or sharks) didn’t dispatch the huge dinosaur, as it might have been no match for it. As a substitute, researchers imagine that the shark scavenged the corpse after the behemoth had died, busting off tooth within the mosasaur’s physique because it tore chunks away. Yeah, the traditional ocean was a wild place.

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