Latoplatecarpus

Name: Latoplatecarpus ‭(‬Wide flat wrist‭)‬.
Phonetic: Lat-oh-plat-ee-kar-pus.
Named By: Takuya Konishi‭ & ‬Michael W.‭ ‬Caldwell‭ ‬-‭ ‬2011.
Synonyms: Plioplatecarpus nichollsae.
Classification: Chordata,‭ ‬Reptilia,‭ ‬Squamata,‭ ‬Mosasauridae,‭ ‬Plioplatecarpini.
Species: L.‭ ‬willistoni‭ (‬type‭)‬,‭ ‬L.‭ ‬nichollsae.
Diet: Carnivore/Piscivore.
Size: Uncertain.
Known locations: Canada,‭ ‬Manitoba,‭ ‬Pembina Mountain‭ ‬-‭ ‬Pierre Shale.
Time period: Campanian of the Cretaceous.
Fossil representation: Almost complete skull and mandible‭ (‬lower jaw‭) ‬as well as partial post cranial remains.

       During the Cretaceous period much of Modern day Manitoba would have been submerged under the Western Interior Seaway,‭ ‬which is how the fossils for Latoplatecarpus made it so far inland.‭ ‬After the original material was prepared and described,‭ ‬some further remains that were once attributed to Plioplatecarpus were reassigned to Latoplatecarpus to create a second species L.‭ ‬nichollsae‭ (‬originally referred as Plioplatecarpus nichollsae‭)‬.‭ ‬Further study has also indicated that‭ ‬other‭ ‬material that has been dubiously referred to the genus Platecarpus as the species P.‭ ‬somenensis may actually belong with Latoplatecarpus nichollsae.‭
       As a plioplatecarpine mosasaur,‭ ‬Latoplatecarpus had a short snout and powerful body for swimming,‭ ‬and as such it may have focused upon smaller prey like fish and possibly also cephalopods,‭ ‬while larger mosasaurs like Tylosaurus were dedicated to hunting large prey like other marine reptiles.‭ ‬The name Latoplatecarpus is in reference to the wide shape and construction of the front flippers that would have been used for steering as well as keeping level while swimming.‭ ‬Their developed shape suggests that Latoplatecarpus may have been both fast and agile in its swimming ability.



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