Your browser has javascript turned off or blocked. This will lead to some parts of our website to not work properly or at all. Turn on javascript for best performance.

The browser you are using is not supported by this website. All versions of Internet Explorer are no longer supported, either by us or Microsoft (read more here: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoft-365/windows/end-of-ie-support).

Please use a modern browser to fully experience our website, such as the newest versions of Edge, Chrome, Firefox or Safari etc.

Johan Lindgren

Johan Lindgren

Senior lecturer

Johan Lindgren

Skin of the Cretaceous mosasaur Plotosaurus: implications for aquatic adaptations in giant marine reptiles.

Author

  • Johan Lindgren
  • Carl Alwmark
  • Michael W Caldwell
  • Anthony R Fiorillo

Summary, in English

The physical nature of water and the environment it presents to an organism have long been recognized as important constraints on aquatic adaptation and evolution. Little is known about the dermal cover of mosasauroids (a group of secondarily aquatic reptiles that occupied a wide array of predatory niches in the Cretaceous marine ecosystems 92-65 Myr ago), a lack of information that has hindered inferences about the nature and level of their aquatic adaptations. A newly discovered Plotosaurus skeleton with integument preserved in three dimensions represents not only the first documented squamation in a mosasaurine mosasaur but also the first record of skin in an advanced member of the Mosasauroidea. The dermal cover comprises keeled and possibly osteoderm-reinforced scales that presumably contributed to an anterior-posterior channelling of the water flow and a reduction of microturbulent burst activities along the surface of the skin. Thus, hydrodynamic requirements of life in the water might have influenced the evolution of multiple-keeled body scales in advanced mosasauroids.

Department/s

  • Lithosphere and Biosphere Science

Publishing year

2009

Language

English

Pages

528-531

Publication/Series

Biology letters

Volume

5

Document type

Journal article

Publisher

Royal Society Publishing

Topic

  • Geology

Status

Published

ISBN/ISSN/Other

  • ISSN: 1744-9561