Tylosaurus was a ferocious marine lizard that powered itself through the water with sweeping motions of its long body and fish-like tail. At a massive 46 ft long, it was about the size of a humpback whale and one of the largest mosasaurs. It lived in the Western Interior Seaway of North America during the Late Cretaceous, from about 75 to 85 million years ago.
Scientific Name: Tylosaurus proriger
Characteristics: The predatory Tylosaurus had a long, streamlined body and a large skull with pointed jaws filled with sharp, conical teeth. The bases of the teeth in large individuals could be the size of a clenched human fist. It had extra rows of teeth on the roof of its mouth to hold struggling prey. Its limbs were broad, flattened flippers and its long tail probably ended with an expanded lobe to provide extra thrust.
Size and Color: This fishy reptile model is 9.25 inches long and 1.5 inches high. Its stunning yellow and black stripes are reminiscent of some modern day sea snakes.
- The Tylosaurus is part of the Wild Safari® Prehistoric World collection
- All of our products are Non-toxic and BPA free
The first Tylosaurus remains were discovered in the 1860s after the American Civil War. The first specimen was described by Edward Drinker Cope in 1869 as ‘Macrosaurus’ proriger. Hot on his heels in 1870, Cope’s arch-rival, Othniel Charles Marsh, began the first fossil hunting expeditions of Yale College. These uncovered more fossils of this ancient marine reptile. In 1872 Marsh created the name Tylosaurus, which means ‘knob (or snout) lizard’, in reference to the elongated bony muzzle that projects beyond the last teeth in the upper jaws.
Today, Tylosaurus is known from dozens of complete or partially complete skeletons and is one of the best known mosasaurs. It has 52 frightening, sharp, conical teeth in its main jaws that it used to catch and eat fish and other marine reptiles. Additional rows of teeth on the palate, at the top of its mouth, helped it to hold on to struggling prey and pull food into its gullet.
- Recommended Age: 3+
- Size in cm: 23.75 L x 3.5 H
- Size in inches: 9.35 L x 1.38 H