Feeding the mechanical mosasaur: What did Carinodens eat?

Anne S. Schulp*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


    Carinodens is among the smallest known mosasaurs, and one of the most elusive at that. This enigmatic taxon is known from only two dentary fragments and just over a dozen of isolated teeth. Based on this material, an attempt is made to improve our understanding of the dietary habits of this mosasaur, by comparing tooth and jaw morphology to extant analogues, and by testing a biomechanical model with 'feeding' experiments using an artificial mosasaur jaw equipped with a force gauge. Carinodens appears to have been a durophagous mosasaur, capable of crushing small molluscs and arthropods, although its dietary habits may not necessarily have been limited to hard-shelled food.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)345-357
    Number of pages13
    JournalNetherlands Journal of Geosciences = Geologie en Mijnbouw
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - Sept 2005


    • Biomechanics
    • Carinodens
    • Cretaceous
    • Diet
    • Mosasaurs


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