Manitoba mosasaur Bruce takes Guinness World Record as largest on display in the world
Thursday, September 18, 2014, 11:18 AM - The Canadian Fossil Discovery Centre, in Morden, Man., is now in the record books with the largest mosasaur fossil on display in all the world.
"Once our research confirmed the size we immediately started thinking about pursuing a world record," Peter Cantelon, executive director of the CFDC, said in a press release. "We submitted all of our research to the folks at Guinness World Records and were thrilled to have it confirmed."
Mosasaurs are referred to as the T. rex of the Sea, or Sea-Rex, and rightfully so. In the late Cretaceous period, some 80 to 90 million years ago, these fearsome aquatic reptiles were the largest to roam the Western Interior Seaway - the large shallow sea that filled the lowlands from northern Canada, through the Prairies and Plains States and Texas, to the Gulf of Mexico. However, they ranged much farther than just around what would become North America.
Although air-breathing, they were capable of diving deep under water in their search for prey, and their large maw, with its double-row of large, pointed teeth and loosely-hinged lower jaw, ensured they could eat pretty much anything they managed to catch.
The first mosasaur fossils were discovered in the Netherlands, in a limestone quarry near the town of Maastricht, in 1764. That's apparently around 50 years before the first dinosaur fossils were discovered!
The record-setting mosasaur in question is Bruce, the Centre's 13-m (43 ft) long fossil specimen that was discovered north of Thornhill, Man., in 1974. According to the Centre, it took nearly two full seasons to excavate his fossilized bones from the ground, and even being the largest on display in the world, Bruce's skeleton is still only around 70 per cent complete.
"It is great for people to be able to come and see something here in Morden that cannot be seen anywhere else on the planet," said Cantelon. "It's great for Manitoba and it's great for Canada."
(Tip o' the hat to Chris D., from ChrisD.ca)