Name: Xenodens ‭(‬strange tooth‭)‬.
Phonetic: Ze-no-denz.
Named By: Nicholas R.Longrich,‭ ‬NathalieBardet,‭ ‬Anne S.Schulp‭ & ‬Nour-Eddine Jalil‭ ‬-‭ ‬2021.
Classification: Chordata,‭ ‬Reptilia,‭ ‬Squamata,‭ ‬Mosasauroidea,‭ ‬Mosasauridae,‭ ‬Mosasaurinae,‭ ‬Mosasaurini.
Species: X.‭ ‬calminechari‭ (‬type‭)‬.
Diet: Carnivore/Piscivore/Durophagus‭?
Size: Uncertain due to lack of remains,‭ ‬but holotype individual roughly estimated to have been about‭ ‬1.6‭ ‬meters long.
Known locations: Morocco‭ ‬-‭ ‬Ouled Abdoun Basin.
Time period: Late Maastrichtian of the Cretaceous.
Fossil representation: Partial maxilla.

       Though first described from a partial maxilla,‭ ‬the mosasaur Xenodens seems to have had very specialised teeth.‭ ‬These teeth are individually short and flattened into stout blade-like form,‭ ‬but when in the jaw,‭ ‬are tightly packed together to form what can only be described as a saw blade-like structure.‭ ‬Indeed,‭ ‬the type species name‭ ‘‬calminechari‭’‬,‭ ‬is derived from the Arabic for‭ ‘‬like a saw‭’‬.‭ ‬Tooth‭ ‬arrangement like this is not typically seem in tetrapod animals,‭ ‬but is seem in some fish such as certain piranhas and especially in dogfish sharks.‭
       This tooth arrangement meant that Xenodens could have feasibly tackled a variety of prey animals from fish and squid,‭ ‬to shelled creatures such as crustaceans to possibly even scavenging the bodies of other creatures.‭ ‬Xenodens‭ ‬may have just as easily been a generalist feeder as a specialist one.

Further reading
-‭ ‬Xenodens calminechari gen.‭ ‬et sp.‭ ‬nov.,‭ ‬a bizarre mosasaurid‭ (‬Mosasauridae,‭ ‬Squamata‭) ‬with shark-like cutting teeth from the upper Maastrichtian of Morocco,‭ ‬North Africa.‭ ‬-‭ ‬Cretaceous Research.‭ ‬-‭ ‬Nicholas R.Longrich,‭ ‬NathalieBardet,‭ ‬Anne S.Schulp‭ & ‬Nour-Eddine Jalil‭ ‬-‭ ‬2021.


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