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Re: did mosasaurs echolocate?



Original Message by Stephan Pickering Thursday, 28. November 2002 12:39 

> Has anyone examined the skull structures of all known
> mosasaurs to ascertain if there is evidence for
> echolocation-like capabilities?

If a concave skull roof (for the melon) is such evidence, then this has 
happened, with a negative result AFAIK.

> As these were,
> presumably, migratory predators (they did not,
> needless to say, throw themselves in the air [...]

Well, maybe they did, for cooling. :-|

> echolocation and other sensory
> apparatus would have been feasible, especially in high-latitudes.

However, I doubt it was necessary for finding prey. Mosasaurs were related to 
monitors and snakes, which hunt by smell, enhanced by the forked tongue, so I 
think they were able to smell* in water, something no mammal can AFAIK do. 
Plus, whales are known for their comparatively tiny eyes, mosasaurs aren't.

* OK, not by means of the olfactory epithelium, but by Jacobson's organ, 
which is in mammals inaccessible from the mouth because of the secondary 
palate. Calling this smelling may be misleading, but there's no other word...

What does the paper say what's special about high latitudes?