Wyoming was once home to monsters. We are not talking about those fictional characters like Frankinstine's Monster, Dracula, or the Mummy. These are real-life tear you limb-from-limb creatures that once ruled the land ... or ocean.

This beast is, according to paleontologists, is up to 60 feet long. Its body looks like a supersized-hybrid of a shark and a Gila monster. These giant reptiles are often called the T-Rex of the sea. We are talking about the mosasaurs.

The mosasaurs (which were actually a group of 38 different dinosaurs) were vicious ocean predators and were highly adaptable. They breathed air and were apt and hunting and swimming in the shallow inland seas. Unlike most reptiles, they had live births versus laying eggs.

During the Cretaceous, Wyoming was mostly under water. The Western Interior Seaway cut the Americas in half from the Gulf of Mexico all the way to the Antarctic Ocean. It was during that time when this monster dominated the waters that covered most of what is now the Western Planes.

According to Michael J. Everhart of the Sternberg Museum of Natural History, the rapid evolution of the Mosasaurs "may have also contributed to the extinction of several species of sharks, and they may have been competing with crocodilians in estuarine and freshwater environments at the end of the Cretaceous."

Thankfully, we don't have to worry about these creatures. The monsters of yesteryear fuel today - literally. Now all that remains are fossils, fossil fuels, and images created from the motion picture industry.


 

The mosasaurs were not the only monster that swam in the Western Interior Seaway. These beasts were also part of the ecosystem.