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Dakosaurus
Classification
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Superclass Tetrapoda
Class Reptilia
Subclass Diapsida
Order  ???
Suborder Thalattosuchia
Family Metriorhynchidae
Subfamily Geosaurinae
Genus Dakosaurus
1st Species Dakosaurus maximus
2nd Species Dakosaurus andiniensis
Other attributes
Time Range 157-137 mya
Location Germany, United Kingdom, France, Switzerland, Poland, Russia, Argentina, Mexico
Name Meaning Biting reptile
Physical Dimensions 6.6 meters long
Dietary Classification Carnivore

Dakosaurus is a metriorhynchid reptile from the Late Jurassic-Early Cretaceous of Germany, the United Kingdom, France, Switzerland, Poland, Russia, Argentina, and Mexico. It was officially named in 1856 by Friedrich August von Quenstedt. It was another marine crocodylomorph; as well as this, its first remains were thought to belong to Megalosaurus, right before people discovered they belonged to a crocodylomorph.

PhysiologyEdit

Dakosaurus was somewhat similar to its semi-close cousin, Metriorhynchus; it was a crocodylomorph with a sleek, streamlined body, 4 flippers, a long tail with a shark-like fin on its end, and a conical head with a mouth filled with sharp, interlocking teeth. However, it differed from Metriorhynchus in one notable way; whereas Metriorhynchus had a long, thin snout with small, smooth teeth, Dakosaurus had a shorter, deeper snout with large, serrated teeth. Its body would have been covered in scaly skin.

DietEdit

Dakosaurus was a predator, preying on turtles, ichthyosaurs, mid-sized plesiosaurs, smaller thalattosuchians, and even mid-sized Leedsichthys individuals. Its large teeth had knife-like serrations from back to back, and were designed for crushing bone.

EcologyEdit

Once again, Dakosaurus was a crocodylomorph with anatomical features that allowed it to live life in the water (such as a slender, streamlined body, legs that evolved into flippers, a large tail fin, and a loss of osteoderms), and so, it most likely wouldn't have been able to clamber onto land and lay eggs in a similar manner to a turtle; instead, it was probably fully aquatic and gave birth to live young. As well as this, like its cousin, Metriorhynchus, it had salt glands that would remove excess salt from its blood, allowing it to drink seawater and eat saltwater prey without dehydrating. However, unlike Metriorhynchus, who had long, thin jaws with small, conical teeth adapted for catching fish, Dakosaurus had shorter, deeper jaws adorned with large teeth, which, in turn, were adorned with knife-like serrations used for cutting deep into the flesh of larger marine reptiles such as Kimmerosaurus and Ophthalmosaurus; combined with a powerful bite, this would have made Dakosaurus a ferocious apex predator akin to the giant macropredatory plesiosaurs (such as Liopleurodon and Pliosaurus) which lived with it. When hunting, it would cut deep into its prey's flesh before spinning violently, dismembering its chosen target; this hunting style is perpetuated by its modern cousins, the alligators.

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