Ectenosaurus

Name: Ectenosaurus.
Phonetic: Ek-ten-o-sore-us.
Named By: D.‭ ‬A.‭ ‬Russel‭ ‬-‭ ‬1967.
Synonyms: Clidastes velox,‭ ‬Platecarpus oxyrhinus.
Classification: Chordata,‭ ‬Reptilia,‭ ‬Squamata,‭ ‬Mosasauridae,‭ ‬Plioplatecarpinae.
Species: E.‭ ‬clidastoides‭ (‬type‭)‬.
Diet: Carnivore/Piscivore.
Size: Skull roughly‭ ‬74‭ ‬centimetres long.
Known locations: USA,‭ ‬Kansas.
Time period: Campanian of the Cretaceous.
Fossil representation: Skull and forward half of the post cranial skeleton.

       A not very well known genus of mosasaur,‭ ‬Ectenosaurus has still helped us to confirm that older ideas about how mosasaurs swam are simply wrong.‭ ‬Over a hundred years ago mosasaurs were thought to have been close relatives of snakes‭ (‬again an idea that is now seen as wrong‭)‬,‭ ‬and like them the mosasaurs were thought to undulate their entire bodies to swim through the water.‭ ‬However the slab that the Ectenosaurus holotype is preserved on also has the impressions of scales on it.‭ ‬These scales are a few millimetres long,‭ ‬oval and slightly ridged.‭ ‬They also made it so that the trunk of Ectenosaurus would have been fairly rigid,‭ ‬and not suited to the smooth undulating motion that snakes are capable of.‭ ‬This means that swimming propulsion for Ectenosaurus must have been‭ ‬provided by the tail,‭ ‬and as genera such as Platecarpus and Proganthodon show is,‭ ‬Ectenosaurus most probably had a tail fluke also.
       Ectenosaurus was first named as a species of Clidastes in‭ ‬1953,‭ ‬all the way until‭ ‬1967‭ ‬when it was renamed as a new genus by Dale Russel.

Further reading
-‭ ‬Systematics and Morphology of American Mosasaurs‭ (‬Reptilia,‭ ‬Sauria‭)‬.‭ ‬-‭ ‬Bulletin of the Peabody Museum of Natural History‭ ‬23:1-252.‭ ‬-‭ ‬D.‭ ‬A.‭ ‬Russel‭ ‬-‭ ‬1967.



----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Random favourites