The Canadian Fossil Discovery Centre unveiled its newest mosasaur skeleton, the rare 3.7-metre Kourisodon puntledgensis, shown in a handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Canadian Fossil Discovery Centre

Razor-toothed and rare mosasaur skeleton displayed in Manitoba

The Canadian Fossil Discovery Centre in Morden unveiled its latest mosasaur skeleton

Suzy, Bruce and now a new prehistoric sea-creature skeleton make three at a southwestern Manitoba museum.

The Canadian Fossil Discovery Centre in Morden unveiled its latest mosasaur skeleton on Wednesday.

The museum is already home to Bruce — the Guinness World Records holder as the largest publicly displayed mosasaur — and his museum companion Suzy.

RELATED: 50-million-year-old fossil found in B.C. town makes history

Mosasaurs were huge, strange-looking marine reptiles that lived throughout the world during the late Cretaceous period between 66 and 100 million years ago. They went extinct around the same time as the dinosaurs.

Mosasaurs were predators at the top of the food chain. They were powerful swimmers with long, broad tails. They also had a double-hinged jaw, similar to a snake, and ate everything from birds and mollusks to fish.

Discovery centre curator and paleontologist Victoria Markstrom said the new specimen is different than most of its fossil friends. It’s a Kourisodon puntledgensis mosasaur which is quite rare.

It has razor-like teeth for shearing its food rather than crocodile-style teeth for chomping like the other specimens.

RELATED: 53 million year old scorpionfly fossil found in B.C.

“Because (the teeth) are laterally compressed, because they have this shape, some scientists think that they would use it for biting down on softer animals,” Markstrom said. “These (mosasaurs) might have been eating more things like soft fish, jellyfish, squid and whatnot.”

It’s also much smaller — only 3.7 metres compared to 13-metre-long Bruce. Markstrom said that’s because the new creature was found on Vancouver Island.

Bruce and Suzy were unearthed in Manitoba. They would have roamed the Western Interior Seaway, which stretched from the Arctic Ocean to the Gulf of Mexico, cutting North America in half.

“It shows that whatever was going on in the Pacific Ocean, they had some pretty small mosasaurs living there,” said Markstrom, who added that fossils of the species have otherwise only been found in Japan.

“We don’t usually get a lot of information about the animals that lived in the ancient Pacific Ocean because they are not usually found.”

The new skeleton does not have a name yet. Markstrom said the centre will work with the public to come up with one in the coming months.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Alleged Penticton shooter John Brittain waives preliminary trial

Brittain will return to court in January to schedule a trial date

Cougar destroyed in Penticton area after mauling dog, killing cat

This is the first reported incident with a cougar this year in the Penticton area

James and Jamesy return to Penticton for more Christmas tea

Their Dec. 17 show explores friendship, the joy of giving, and a celebration of the imagination

Santa Parade lights up the streets of Penticton

People lined Main Street through the rain and chill in the air.

Tenore trio want to celebrate a Christmas with You

The tenor group performs at Penticton’s Church of the Nazarene tonight at 6 p.m.

Video: Magicians and Bubble Wonders highlight Penticton Shriners Variety Show

The annual fundraiser filled the Cleland Community Theatre on Sunday.

Province sues over sailing incident that killed teen with disabilities

Gabriel Pollard, 16, died from injuries after marine lift failed

First Nations want Big Bar landslide cleared ASAP to allow fish passage

Leadership calling for urgent action and resources to remove obstruction on the Fraser

Assessed value of Lower Mainland homes expected to decrease in 2020

Other areas of province may see modest increases over last year’s values

Two Okanagan residents convicted and fined for hunting out of season

Both residents were convicted in a Kelowna provincial court

Book examines history of B.C. wine industry

Author Luke Whittall has studied the growth of the industry from the mid-19th century to today

Chilliwack family’s therapy dog injured in hit and run

Miniature pit bull Fifty’s owner is a single mother facing close to $10,000 in vet bills

Holiday lights displayed in Summerland neighbourhood

Trout Creek neighbourhood to hold fourth annual lights contest

Most Read