Mesoleptos

Name: Mesoleptos.
Phonetic: Me-so-lep-tos.
Named By: Cornalia & Chiozza‭ ‬-‭ ‬1852.
Classification: ‭Chordata, Reptilia, Mosasauroidea.
Species: M.‭ ‬zendrinii‭ (‬type‭)‬.
Diet:‭ ‬Carnivore/Piscivore.
Size: Roughly about‭ ‬1‭ ‬meter long.
Known locations: Croatia.‭ ‬Palestinian Teritory.‭ ‬Slovenia.
Time period: Cenomanian of the Cretaceous.
Fossil representation: At least three specimens known.

       Mesoleptos is a genus that shares several characteristics of snakes and primitive mosasauroids,‭ ‬however at the time of writing Mesoleptos is thought to be more likely a primitive mosasauroid.‭ ‬If correct then this would place Mesoleptos closer to actual monitor lizards than snakes,‭ ‬given that later discoveries with mosasaurs indicate a monitor lizard lineage.
       Mesoleptos shows several features that would have supported a lifestyle that saw it regularly entering into and swimming in water.‭ ‬These include a laterally compressed tail as well as a reduction in limb size,‭ ‬though Mesoleptos may well likely ventured out of the water when resting.‭ ‬Mesoleptos would have probably been a hunter of small aquatic organisms.

Further reading
-‭ ‬A new turtle of the genus Podocnemis from the lower Cenomanian of‭ '‬Ein Yabrud.‭ ‬-‭ ‬Israel Journal of Zoology‭ ‬27:169-175.‭ ‬-‭ ‬G.‭ ‬Haas‭ ‬-‭ ‬1978.
-‭ ‬The Cretaceous marine squamate Mesoleptos and the origin of snakes.‭ ‬-‭ ‬Bulletin of Natural History Museum London‭ (‬Zool.‭) ‬68‭(‬2‭)‬,‭ ‬p131-142.‭ ‬-‭ ‬Michael S.‭ ‬Y.‭ ‬Lee‭ & ‬John D.‭ ‬Scanlon‭ ‬-‭ ‬2002.



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