(Wide flat wrist).
Named By: Takuya Konishi & Michael W. Caldwell - 2011.
Synonyms: Plioplatecarpus nichollsae.
Classification: Chordata, Reptilia, Squamata, Mosasauridae, Plioplatecarpini.
Species: L. willistoni (type), L. nichollsae.
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.
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
material was prepared and described, some further remains that were
once attributed to Plioplatecarpus
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
as the species P. somenensis may actually belong
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.