Kaikaifilu

Name: Kaikaifilu ‭(‬named after Kai-Kai filú,‭ ‬an oceanic diety from Mapuche mythology‭)‬.
Phonetic: Ky-ky-fe-lu.
Named By: R.‭ ‬A.‭ ‬Otero,‭ ‬S.‭ ‬Soto-Acuna,‭ ‬D.‭ ‬Rubilar-Rogers‭ & ‬C.‭ ‬S.‭ ‬Gutstein‭ ‬-‭ ‬2017.
Classification: Chordata,‭ ‬Reptilia,‭ ‬Squamata,‭ ‬Mosasauroidea,‭ ‬Mosasauridae,‭ ‬Tylosaurinae.
Species: K.‭ ‬hervei‭ (‬type‭)‬.
Diet: Carnivore.‭
Size: Estimated skull about‭ ‬1.1‭ ‬-‭ ‬1.2‭ ‬meters long.‭ ‬Total body length estimated to be at least‭ ‬10‭ ‬meters long.
Known locations: Antarctica,‭ ‬Seymour Island‭ ‬-‭ ‬Lopez de Bertodano Formation.
Time period: Maastrichtian of the Cretaceous.
Fossil representation: Partial skull and jaw.‭ ‬Head of a humerus bone.




       Kaikaifilu is certainly an interesting genus of mosasaur.‭ ‬First it was one of the larger mosasaurs known to have been hunting in the waters of the Southern hemisphere.‭ ‬Also, the teeth of Kaikaifilu were heterodont,‭ ‬meaning that there were different forms of teeth within the mouth.‭ ‬This makes Kaikaifilu to be the only the second genus of mosasaur known to have had heterodont dentition‭ (‬the first being Eremiasaurus‭)‬.‭ ‬Heterodonty in creatures often points to them being generalist feeders,‭ ‬and it is possible that Kaikaifilu may have been a generalist hunter.
       Kaikaifilu is among a‭ ‬growing number of ancient marine reptiles known to have lived in waters around Antarctica,‭ ‬which back in the Cretaceous was not frozen like it is today.‭ ‬A species of the mosasaur‭ ‬Taniwhasaurus and‭ ‬the plesiosaur Aristonectes are also known from Antarctica.

Further reading
-‭ ‬Kaikaifilu hervei gen.‭ ‬et sp.‭ ‬nov.,‭ ‬a new large mosasaur‭ (‬Squamata,‭ ‬Mosasauridae‭) ‬from the upper Maastrichtian of Antarctica.‭ ‬-‭ ‬Cretaceous Research‭ ‬70:209-225.‭ ‬-‭ ‬R.‭ ‬A.‭ ‬Otero,‭ ‬S.‭ ‬Soto-Acuna,‭ ‬D.‭ ‬Rubilar-Rogers‭ & ‬C.‭ ‬S.‭ ‬Gutstein‭ ‬-‭ ‬2017.



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