Mosasaurs are gargantuan marine lizards that once wandered our ancient planet. So upon the discovery of the birthing mystery of these mighty prehistoric lizards, scientists became unusually excited.
According to a new finding, published in the Palaeontology journal, detailing how researchers at Yale University and the University of Toronto were able to discover the new birth process of these long-extinct reptiles.
A newly identified specimens at the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History, had paleontologists believing that mighty mosasaurs, which could grow as much as up to 50 feet long, delivered their young not on or near sea shores, but in the open ocean.
It has been the subject of debates, for years, the process by which these giant lizards gave birth, but it appears now, that scientists have at last got their answer.
The study’s lead author and researcher Daniel Field, in a statement said, “Mosasaurs are among the best-studied groups of Mesozoic vertebrate animals, but evidence regarding how they were born and what baby mosasaur ecology was like, has historically been elusive.”
The findings answered long standing queries about the original environs of this iconic predator that existed during the dinosaur era. Mosasaurs populated mostly on the waters of the Earth, before they became extinct 65 million years ago.
So why has its birthing process evaded scientists for a long time? The answer may be due because, while these mosasaur specimens have been around the Yale Peabody Museum’s widespread collections for quite some time now, they were mistakenly identified before.
Field said, “These specimens were collected over 100 years ago. They had been previously thought to belong to that of ancient marine birds.”
But after close observation of an assortment of jaw and teeth remains that are found in mosasaurs only, they realized their error.
“Really, the only bird-like feature of the specimens is their small size. Contrary to classic theories, these findings suggest that mosasaurs did not lay eggs on beaches and that newborn mosasaurs likely did not live in sheltered near-shore nurseries.” concluded researcher Aaron LeBlanc.