All About the Tylosaurus: The King of the Cretaceous Seas


Photo: MR1805 via Getty Images

Tylosaurus was one of the largest and most impressive predators ever lived in the ocean.

This massive marine reptile was a member of the mosasaur family and is thought to have hunted down prey with its razor-sharp teeth. Learn more about Tylosaurus' physical features, hunting habits, and more!

Description and Appearance

Photo: MR1805 via Getty Images

The Tylosaurus was a massive marine reptile that lived during the Late Cretaceous Period.

It was one of the largest predators of its time and grew to be up to 46 feet long! This creature was an impressive sight, with its long, sleek body and sharp, pointy teeth.

The Tylosaurus was a massive, long, and sleek marine reptile. It had a long tail used for swimming and a pair of large flippers. Its body was covered in smooth, tough skin.

It had four paddle-like limbs, each with five clawed digits. The front limbs were shorter than the rear limbs and used to steer while swimming. 

This creature's head was large and flattened. It had small, round eyes and a pointed snout that was perfect for hunting in the ocean.

Tylosaurus had razor-sharp teeth that were designed for slicing through fish flesh. It also had powerful muscles in its jaw that allowed it to crush shells and bones.

The Tylosaurus was a fast swimmer and could reach speeds of up to 5 miles per hour! Its long tail helped it to change directions quickly and gave it extra power when swimming.


Tylosaurus was a massive predator that ruled the Jurassic seas. This gigantic marine reptile was one of the largest predators of its time and is still considered one of the most impressive creatures to have ever lived in the ocean.

Fossil evidence suggests that this carnivore fed on large fish, sea turtles, and even other marine reptiles. Tylosaurus had a huge mouth and sharp teeth, which allowed it to take down prey much larger than itself.

It is believed that Tylosaurus was a fast and agile swimmer, which helped it to hunt its prey successfully.

It would lurk in the shadows, waiting for the perfect moment to strike. When an unsuspecting victim came close enough, Tylosaurus would lunge out of the water and snatch it up in its powerful jaws!

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The Tylosaurus was a massive reptile that lived during the late Cretaceous period. While its exact size is unknown, some estimates suggest that it could reach lengths of up to 46 feet.

Given its size, it's no surprise that the Tylosaurus was a top predator. But how did this giant lizard reproduce?

Interestingly, the Tylosaurus appears to have reproduced similarly to modern reptiles. Females would lay eggs in warm, sandy areas where they would then be incubated by the sun.

Once they hatched, the young Tylosauruses would be on their own, fending themselves in the harsh Mesozoic world.

While we may never know precisely how the Tylosaurus reproduced, studying its modern relatives can give clues to this fascinating creature's life cycle.


Tylosaurus lived about 70-65 million years ago during the Late Cretaceous period. Its fossils have been found in North America. The largest known specimen is from Kansas, USA.

Tylosaurus probably inhabited shallow coastal waters. It was an apex predator and likely fed on turtles, fish, squid, birds, and other small to medium-sized animals.

Tylosaurus had sharp teeth and strong jaws that allowed it to tear its prey apart. Scientists believe Tylosaurus may have also scavenged dead whales and other large animals. 

Tylosaurus is one of the best-known mosasaurs because its fossils are relatively common and well-preserved.

Its remains have provided scientists with valuable insights into the anatomy and behavior of this fascinating creature.


Photo: MR1805 via Getty Images

Tylosaurus is a mosasaur, a giant, a predatory marine reptile that lived during the Late Cretaceous period.

In 1887, American paleontologist Othniel Charles Marsh discovered the first remains of Tylosaurus, a giant marine reptile that lived during the late Cretaceous period.

He found several partial skeletons in Kansas, which he later sent to the American Museum of Natural History in New York City.

In 1890, Marsh published a description of the new genus and species T. Proriger, based on these fossils.

Since then, numerous other Tylosaurus specimens have been found, making it one of the best-known mosasaurs.

Thanks to its size, menacing teeth, and fierce appearance, Tylosaurus has become one of the most iconic prehistoric creatures.

It has even been featured in several films and television shows, such as Jurassic Park and Walking with Dinosaurs.

Other Interesting Facts

Tylosaurus was a large, predatory mosasaur that lived during the Late Cretaceous period. It was one of the largest mosasaurs, reaching lengths of up to 46 feet.

Tylosaurus had a long, narrow snout tipped with sharp teeth, and its body was covered in scaly armor.

It is thought that Tylosaurus hunted large prey, such as plesiosaurs and sea turtles. Here are ten fun facts about Tylosaurus:

  1. Tylosaurus means "knobbed lizard," referring to the bumpy scales on its skin.
  2. Tylosaurus is one of the best-studied mosasaurs due to the many well-preserved fossils that have been found.
  3. Tylosaurus had an estimated lifespan of 20-30 years.
  4. One study found that Tylosaurus had the most substantial bite of any animal that has ever lived, with force equivalent to 8,000 pounds per square inch!
  5. Tylosaurus had binocular vision, meaning it had two eyes that faced forward, giving it stereoscopic vision. This type of vision is often associated with predators.
  6. Tylosaurus is thought to have been a fast swimmer, reaching speeds of up to 5 miles per hour.
  7. Although it is often depicted as swimming at the surface of the water, Tylosaurus was probably a good diver and could dive to depths of up to 100 feet.
  8. Due to its large size, Tylosaurus would have needed to eat a lot of food every day - up to 200 pounds!
  9. Tylosaurus is thought to have had good hearing due to the large size of its ear bones.
  10. Tylosaurus is the state fossil of Kansas.

Tylosaurus went extinct at the end of the Cretaceous period along with all other mosasaurs and dinosaurs.

Scientists aren't exactly sure why they went extinct. Still, one theory is that a comet or asteroid hit the earth, causing widespread environmental damage that made it difficult for them to survive.

Final Thoughts

Tylosaurus was a gigantic marine reptile that lived during the late Cretaceous period. It measured up to 46 feet in length and weighed between 200–500 kilograms.

The study of the Tylosaurus is crucial because it can provide insights into the ecology of Mesozoic oceans.

For example, an analysis of its teeth can reveal what kind of prey it hunted. Its large size also suggests that it played an essential role in the food web, and its coral-like scales indicate that it lived in warm, shallow waters.

In addition, the study of Tylosaurus can help us to understand the extinction of dinosaurs. This creature went extinct along with many other species at the end of the Cretaceous period, and understanding why this happened could help us prevent similar future extinctions.



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