globidens

The globe Teeth, Globidens (1912)

Phylum : Chordata
Class : Reptilia
Order : Squamata
Family : Mosasauridae
Genus : Globidens
Species : G. alabamaensis, G. dakotensis, G. phosphaticus, G. timorensis, G. schurmanni

  • Late Cretaceous (75 - 65 Ma)
  • 6 m long and 1 500 kg (size)
  • North America, Western Interior Seaway (map)

Globidens was ~6 m in length and in appearance very much like other mosasaurs (streamlined body with flippers, a laterally flattened tail and powerful jaws). The teeth of Globidens differed from those of other mosasaurs in being globular, giving rise to its generic name. Generally, most mosasaurs had sharp teeth evolved to grab soft, slippery prey like fish and squid, which in some later species were modified to rend flesh, as well. While many other mosasaurs were capable of crushing the shells of ammonites, none were as specialized for dealing with armored prey as Globidens. Globidens had semispherical teeth with rounded nubbin-like points, which were much better suited for crushing tough armored prey like small turtles, ammonites, nautili, and bivalves. Like its larger relative, Mosasaurus, Globidens had a robustly built skull with tightly-articulating jaws. Such features no doubt played a large role in its ability to penetrate the armor of its shelled prey.

Globidens, like other mosasaurs, lived in warm, shallow seas such as the Western Interior Seaway in North America. So far, Globidens has been discovered primarily in North America and in parts of northern and western Africa, such as Morocco and Angola, although specimens from the Middle East and eastern South America have been found as well. In Indonesia, Globidens lived in Timor island

Globidens was somewhat uniquely adapted to take advantage of hard-shelled food resources, in comparison to other mosasaurs. In addition to a generally robust skull, its teeth are designed for crushing, rather than piercing or tearing. Therefore, it is believed that Globidens was a durophagous predator, eating mollusks such as bivalves and ammonites. Stomach contents of a specimen found in South Dakota support prior assumptions, showing the crushed shells of inoceramid clams.