Jurassic Park wouldn’t have been able to make this creature up. The Elasmosaurus is often depicted with a set of ferocious, knife-sharp teeth with its head high above the water in a terrifying “S” shape, Lochness monster-style! This sea monster terrorized North American waters during the Campanian stage of the Late Cretaceous period, which was about 80.5 million years ago.
The average Elasmosaurus would have measured an imposing 34 feet long– 23 feet of that was all neck! Even more chillingly, that extra-long neck leads to a streamlined body with these paddle-like
limbs and to a small head with a triangular skull and a jaw packed full of fang-like teeth.
Experts believe its elongated neck would have allowed it a number of unique strategies to hunt, including “benthic grazing,” which is when a sea creature swims close to the bottom of the ocean and uses its long head and neck to dig around the seafloor for prey.
It’s also thought that it could have been able to retract its neck before pouncing or striking. Its teeth, not unlike the teeth saw sharks have easily torn prey apart, especially when the Elasmosaurus used side-swipe motions.
This is no average monster. The Basilosaurus is the “king lizard,” the apex predator in the Tethys Sea, and probably the largest animal of the Paleogene. It was strong and ferocious enough to regularly feed on sharks, all kinds of large fish, and marine mammals.
It mainly fed on the Dorudon, which was a dolphin-like, ancient whale that lived 40.4 to 33.9 million years ago and measured about 16 feet long.
The scariest thing is that this wasn’t a thing of legend, a creature that only resurfaced in the dark depths of the ocean. No, the Basilosaurus was very common.
Any day of the year, you would have found a 70-foot bloodthirsty whale whose skull alone measured five feet long. And unlike the modern cetaceans, we’re used to, such as whales, dolphins, and porpoises, this beast sported several types of teeth such as canines and molars, making them able to chew their food and not just swallow it whole.