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).
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.
first described from a partial maxilla, the mosasaur
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.
- 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.