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The strangely shaped tooth of Globidens (Wikimedia Commons)


Globidens (Greek for "globular teeth"); pronounced GLOW-bih-denz


Oceans worldwide

Historical Period:

Late Cretaceous (75-65 million years ago)

Size and Weight:

About 20 feet long and 1,000 pounds


Turtles, ammonites and bivalves

Distinguishing Characteristics:

Sleek profile; round teeth


About Globidens:

You can tell a lot about the diet of a marine reptile by the shape and arrangement of its teeth--and the round, pebbly teeth of Globidens demonstrate that this mosasaur was specially adapted to feeding on hard-shelled turtles, ammonites and shellfish. As with many mosasaurs, the sleek, vicious predators of the late Cretaceous seas, the fossils of Globidens have turned up in some unexpected places, such as modern-day Alabama and Colorado, which used to be covered with shallow water tens of millions of years ago.

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