Marine Reptile Month #18 — Plotosaurus

Late Cretaceous period (72-66 mya)

Plotosaurus was one of the most “advanced” mosasaurs in terms of anatomical adaptations, with a highly streamlined body and a large tail fin enabling it to swim at high speeds as a pursuit predator. It grew to lengths of between 9 and 13m (25’6”-42’8”), and probably fed on fish, ammonites, smaller marine reptiles, and aquatic birds — swallowing them almost whole thanks to snake-like flexible jaws.

And, yes, mosasaurs almost certainly had forked tongues. Based on their evolutionary relationships to varanoids and snakes, it’s also possible that they might have been venomous, too.

Color palette used: “Poesie

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Earless Monitor Lizard (Lanthanotus borneensis)

…is a species of lizard native to Northern Borneo. Despite its common name this lizard is not a true monitor and is the only member of its family.  They also are capable of hearing, but lack an eardrum which is where the name comes from. Earless Monitors are extremely rare and not much is known about their biology. They are known to be nocturnal and burrowing, their diet consists mainly of worms and other small invertebrates.

Phylogeny

Animalia-Chordata-Reptilia-Squamata-Lacertilia-Varanoidea-Lanthanotidae-Lanthanotus-borneensis

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