Skeletal reconstruction of mosasaur
- North America
Mosasaur ( "lizard of the Meuse " ) is a genus of mosasaur ( Mosasauridae ), an extinct family of large marine reptiles from the time of the Upper Cretaceous. The genus was eponymous for the Mosasauridae, Squamata, which were highly adapted to an aquatic lifestyle. William Daniel Conybeare published in 1822 the first description of the genus. Mosasaur was one of the last, the most developed and largest mosasaurs.
The first fossil, the skull of the holotype ( NMHN AC. 9648 ) was found in 1770 near Maastricht. The holotype skull was brought in 1794 by French troops as war booty to Paris
The largest species of the genus, M. hoffmannii, probably reached almost 18 meters overall length. She is also the type species. Gideon Mantell named 1829 Art after allegedly involved in the salvage of the skull military surgeon Johann Leonard Hoffmann.
Mosasaur was the first reptile, in which it was acknowledged that it was a non-existent type from a primitive world. Previously, held fossils are remains of extant ( or rather immutable ) types.