Selmasaurus

Name: Selmasaurus
Phonetic: Sell-mah-sore-us.
Named By: S.‭ ‬W.‭ ‬Shannon‭ & ‬K.‭ ‬R.‭ ‬Wright‭ ‬-‭ ‬1988.
Classification: Chordata,‭ ‬Reptilia,‭ ‬Squamata,‭ ‬Mosasauridae,‭ ‬Plioplatecarpinae.
Species: S.‭ ‬russelli‭ (‬type‭)‬,‭ ‬S.‭ ‬johnsoni.
Diet: Carnivore/Piscivore.
Size: Uncertain.
Known locations: USA,‭ ‬Alabama‭ ‬-‭ ‬Mooreville Chalk Formation,‭ ‬Kansas‭ ‬-‭ ‬Niobrara Formation.
Time period: Santonian to Campanian of the Cretaceous.
Fossil representation: At least two individuals but mostly of skull material.

       Selmasaurus is unusual amongst mosasaurs because it has an akinetic skull,‭ ‬which means that its jaws were incapable of widening to swallow larger prey.‭ ‬This strongly suggests that Selmasaurus restricted itself to small prey species that were easily swallowed.‭ ‬This would infer behaviour similar to other plioplatecarpine mosasaurs such as Platecarpus and Plioplatecarpus that are thought to have been more active predators of fish.‭ ‬However it is still uncertain if Selmasaurus had a tail fluke like the aforementioned Platecarpus.‭
       One interesting bit of trivia about Selmasaurus is that although it was officially named in‭ ‬1988,‭ ‬it was actually unofficially named back in‭ ‬1975‭ ‬as part of a masters thesis by Samuel Wayne Shannon.



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