The North African Mosasaur Globidens phosphaticus from the Maastrichtian of Angola

Michael J. Polcyn, Louis L. Jacobs, Anne S. Schulp, Octávio Mateus

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


New mosasaur fossils from Maastrichtian beds at Bentiaba, Angola, representing elements of the skull and postcranial axial skeleton from two individuals of the durophagous genus Globidens, are reported. Based on dental morphology, specifically the inflated posterior surface and vertical sulci, the Bentiaba specimens are identified as Globidens phosphaticus, a species defined by characters of a composite dentition from the Maastrichtian of Morocco. Comparisons indicate that G. phosphaticus is most closely related to G. schurmanni, from the late Campanian of South Dakota, the youngest north American Globidens species at about 72.5 Ma. The morphology of the premaxilla and its relationship with the maxillae is unique among mosasaurs, and supports the taxonomic validity of G. phosphaticus. In contrast with earlier species of the genus, G. phosphaticus is currently known from north and west Africa, the Middle East and the central eastern margin of South America, suggesting it may have been restricted to the Maastrichtian tropical zone as previously hypothesised.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)175-185
Number of pages11
JournalHistorical Biology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2010


  • Angola
  • Biogeography
  • Durophagous
  • Globidens
  • Mosasaur


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