Shortly before a mass extinction ended the Age of Dinosaurs, a reptilian, barracuda-like carnivore with a mouth like a box cutter patrolled the warm seas that once covered swaths of what is now North Africa. A recently described fossil of the ocean-dwelling beast reveals that its bite was unlike that of any of its relatives, in the water or onshore.
The animal was a mosasaur, an extinct, marine reptile related to snakes and monitor lizards. Mosasaurs commonly had piercing, conical teeth for gripping slippery prey or flat, crushing teeth for smashing hard-shelled animals. But this new variety had short, serrated, squarish blades, packed tightly in series to form a
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