Marine reptiles

Xiphactinus - prehistoric fish

Xiphactinus ( from Latin and Greek for "sword ray" ) is an extinct genus of large marine predary fish that existed in the late Cretaceous Period, between 99 and 65 million years ago.

Xiphactinus was a fast, strong swimmer, 4 - 6 m long, - one of the largest bony fish of the Cretaceous, and one of the fiercest sea creatures. A powerful tail and wing-like fins shot this prehistoric monster through the surface waters of the ocean, and unlucky fish or seabirds on its path were snared inside its upturned jaw, which was lined with giant, fang like teeth, giving it an expression akin to that of a bulldog. A four-meter long Xiphactinus could open its jaw wide enough to swallow two-meter-long fish whole.

Xiphactinus fossils have been found in North America, Canada, South America, Europe, and Australia, suggesting its global distribution.

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