Named By: T. Lingham-Soliar - 1998.
Classification: Chordata, Reptilia, Squamata, Mosasauroidea, Mosasauridae, Halisaurinae.
Species: P. walkeri (type), P. calabaria.
Size: Uncertain due to lack of remains, but roughly about 5 meters long.
Known locations: Niger - Farin-Doutchi Formation. Nigeria - Nkporo Shale Formation.
Time period: Campanian to Maastrichtian of the Cretaceous.
Fossil representation: Dentaries (jaws).
the time of writing Pluridens is only known from
lower jaws, but
these show that this mosasaur
was a highly specialised hunter. The
lower jaw of Pluridens had at least twenty-eight
teeth, more than in other known mosasaurs, and hence the
inspiration for the name Pluridens which means
‘many teeth’. The
lower jaw is also elongated with a slender build, something that
would have greatly reduced water resistance when moving through the
water. This jaw is not something that is designed for crushing
through shell and bone, but instead Pluridens
probably utilised a
quick snapping action to catch prey such as fish and squid, or thinly
Pluridens has often been written as a synonym to Halisaurus, something referenced to a 2005 study by Lindgren & Siverson. Since this time however most other authors have continued to classify Pluridens as distinct from Halisaurus. It is still recognised that isolated mosasaur vertebrae similar to those seen in Halisaurus are known from the same approximate locations as the Pluridens type fossils, and with this in mind, most researchers continue to regard Pluridens as a halisaurine mosasaur, similar to Halisaurus in build, but still a distinct genus.
- A new mosasaur Pluridens walkeri from the Upper Cretaceous, Maastrichtian of the Iullemmeden Basin, southwest Niger. - Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 18(4):709-707. T. Lingham-Soliar - 1998.
- Halisaurus sternbergii, a small mosasaur with an intercontinental distribution. - Journal of Paleontology 79 (4): 763–773. - J. Lindgren & M. Siverson - 2005.
- A new species of Pluridens (Mosasauridae: Halisaurinae) from the upper Campanian of Southern Nigeria. Cretaceous Research 64:36-44. - N. R. Longrich - 2016.