Mosasaurs might have been one of the most terrifying creatures in the water – at one time. While they lived during the Late Cretaceous period, they undoubtedly were one of the most ferocious flipper-bearing creatures that the ocean had to offer. However, it would now appear as though the notion that the creature was born near the shore is going dry. Instead, new research suggests that the lizards were born out in the open ocean and that the pregnant mosasaurs just gave birth in traditional fashion, right in the middle of the ocean. At least in the open ocean, that is.
That is a major change from what paleontologists previously thought. It was universally found by experts that they likely were born close to the edge of the shore, which would have made sense given the fact that mosasuars likely didn’t have fully developed swimming skills. That though, now appears to be true. The massive, flipper-bearing lizard actually gave birth in a live manner. They gave birth without any assistance of shallow water – and it was their responsibility to determine their best course of action.
Ironically enough though, this just reveals how little researchers actually know about the creatures from this time period. Even with the vast amount of research that exists on these varying dinosaurs, still much is unknown and this is just the latest in issues that were not fully understood. Daniel Field, who was the lead author of the paper, pointed out that, “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.”
Ironically enough though the new information that was collected was done so from actual specimens that were collected some 100 years ago. We’re not talking about findings from the last few decades, but rather something that was collected 100 or more years ago. That really says something about the raw number of things that are out there to be studied. It puts scientists in a situation where they’re choosing what to study, and what not to study based on previously conceived notions. This though, will spark a lot of new studying that will hopefully further the information that is had on this historic creature.