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Abyssalsuchus

By ZoPteryx
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The mysterious Abyssalsuchids have a surprisingly good fossil record, thanks to their distinctive tusk-like teeth.  The extant genus Abyssalsuchus traces it roots back to the late Oligocene, although probable remains are known from the late Eocene.  All fossils found thus far have been lumped into Abyssalasuchus, but it is likely that some of the older remains belong to the enigmatic genus Densosaurus, which may actually be a primitive hemiscylliusaurid.  There are at least five living abyssalsuchid species distributed throughout the deep waters of the world, though their exact ranges are unknown due to the scarcity of sightings (red dots mark sightings, red X's mark strandings).

A. cricatrix of the North Pacific and A. australus of the Southern Hemisphere are the best known species and the largest, both growing to at least 15 meters in length.  A maculosus of the North Atlantic is known from one sighting and a badly degraded corpse.  The type species of the group, A. promineodontus, can be found in the northern Indian Ocean and is known from only a few sightings and freshly dead subadult specimen that appears to have been mobbed to death by ornithocetids.  The smallest species is though to be A. camucaudus, which is estimated to be only 7 meters long based on a single camera-trap photo taken in the Gulf of Mexico.

All species are deep divers that often found in association with submarine trenches far from shore, just like the beaked whales of our timeline, where they are believed to feed mainly along the bottom due to the numerous scrape markings invariably present on their stomachs.  Known stomach contents include squid, ammonites, shrimp, crabs, clams, and bottom dwelling fish.  Their short snouts, strong jaws, and tusk-like teeth are thought to be adaptations for piercing and crushing shelled prey.  They typically move in a lazy serpentine fashion, but have been known to put on a sudden burst of speed or even breach when threatened by an approaching ship.  Their most peculiar trait is their grooved backs (a characteristic shared with the hemiscylliusaurids) which often play host to a menagerie of bioluminescent hitchhiking parasites.  The exact function of the grooves is unknown, but the leading theory is that they are present specifically to promote the growth of such parasites; perhaps the glowing invertebrates help in attracting prey or mates.

No common name has yet been proposed for the group and the specifics of their breeding habits are still unknown.

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Overview of Saurocene Mosasaur Diversity

Introduction to the Saurocene
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Comments11
anonymous's avatar
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TheDarkMaster2's avatar
How do they breath?
Kaijukid23's avatar
Imagine one of these things can somehow grew into more than 200 feet in length due to abyssal gigantism
ZoPteryx's avatar
That would be horrifying! :o (Eek) 
Martiitram's avatar
Das some pretty good stuff right there!
SirSpecko's avatar
Do you have a speculative evolution forum page?
ZoPteryx's avatar
I actually haven't posted anything there yet, but I will soon. ;)
Sheather888's avatar
SOON he says....

:P
ZoPteryx's avatar
Sweating a little...  Hopefully this weekend.
WorldBuildersInc's avatar
I always look forward to your work. :)
ZoPteryx's avatar
Glad to hear it! :)
anonymous's avatar
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