...my barbaric YAWP...
                                                                   "Song of Myself" Leaves of Grass
                                                Walt Whitman  
Platecarpus ictericus 
 
 
[Mosasaur of the late Cretaceous seas - Platecarpus]
Whole mount cast of Platecarpus ictericus with neck vertebrae of
Elasmosaurus platyurus above.
[Mosasaur of the late Cretaceous seas - Platecarpus]
Skull cast of Platecarpus.




This cast of Platecarpus istericus is based on a find made in 1987 by Michael Triebold's paleontology group. The fossil was discovered in the sediments of the Niobrara Formation located in Lane County, Kansas. This is one of many well preserved marine life fossils uncovered by this organisation. This is from an exhibit under the tent at the Animal Kingdom, Disney World, Orlando, Florida. 2000

During the late Cretaceous, around 75 million years ago, Platecarpus swam in the shallow seas that covered what is now Kansas. Not a dinosaur, it is a mososaur related more closely to the varanid, the Komodo Dragon (Varanus komodensis), than to dinosaurs. Other related genera are Mosasaurus, Clidastes, and Tylosaurus.

Undulating from side to side, like a snake, and using its paddle-like feet for maneuvering, this reptile likely ate fish and squid-like cephalopods. The coiled shelled ammonites may also have been prey. Some fossil shells have scratches on them which could have been made by the narrow V-shaped jaws of Platecarpus.

[skull detail - frontal - Platecarpus]
frontal view of skull cast
of Platecarpus.

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All images ©Michael Patrick Corriss
August 3,2001

Images photographed with Olympus OM-1 35-mm camera, Olympus KHC microscope,
Ricoh RDC-300Z digital camera, scanned by Nikon LS-2000 and
manipulated with PhotoShopLE.
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