STL Science Center

STL Science Center

31 March 2013

Deprived Children

Clidastes has no "for kids" links, sadly. It has very little in the way of child oriented goodness associated with it actually. Considering it is Easter still here in the US there probably is not too much demand for an ancient sea monster anyhow today; most of the kids I know are already in jelly bean comas. Regardless, here is a little adaptation of the fact presentation put together by Bob Strauss for


Clidastes; pronounced klie-DASS-tease
Three species are recognized:
  • C. propython Cope, 1869
  • C. iguanavus Cope, 1868
  • C. liodontus Merriam, 1894


Oceans of North America

Historical Period:

Late Cretaceous (75-65 million years ago)

Size and Weight:

At its smallest: 10 feet long and approximately 100 pounds
The largest Clidastes recovered was approximately 20 feet long and probably would have weighed close to 200 pounds


Fish and marine reptiles

Distinguishing Characteristics:

Small, sleek body; fast swimming speed

About Clidastes:

Like many other mosasaurs, fossils of Clidastes have been found in areas of North America (such as Kansas) that were once covered by the Western Interior Sea. The first Clidastes of note was unearthed in Alabama along what would have been, at the time, the eastern edge of the WIS. It was on the smaller end of the mosasaur spectrum. Clidastes was, however, a fast and agile swimmer capable of chasing down prey items that were quite fast.

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