Temporal range: Late Cretaceous
|An artist's illustration of Tylosaurus proriger|
| †Tylosaurus proriger|
Tylosaurus grew more than 45 feet (14 meters) long, making it one of the largest of the marine reptiles called mosasaurs. Like all mosasaurs, a long and muscular, vertically flattened tail powered Tylosaurus through the water, allowing it to ambush its prey with rapid bursts of acceleration. Paddle-like limbs helped steer the slim body covered in lizard-like scales through the water.
Preserved stomach contents indicate a diet heavy on fish, but seabirds, sharks, plesiosaurs, and other mosasaurs also failed to escape Tylosaurus lethal grip. Though not a dinosaur, Tylosaurus lived alongside them and went extinct at around the same time. Many Tylosaurus remains have been found in Kansas, which was once covered by a large ocean called the Western Interior Seaway.
In Popular Culture
- A Tylosaurus appears in Jurassic Park: The Game where it consumes Dr Laura Sorkins and attempt to eat the rest of the survivors. The cloned Tylosaurus had a row spikes running down its neck to its upper back like outdated depictions of mosasaurs from the late 1800s. It also lacked a tail fluke, with another row of spikes covering the tail. The clone's skull was unlike Tylosaurus being as short as the mosasaur Platecarpus with the jaws not being completely straight. The skin color of the cloned Tylosaurus was a shade of blue with black striping and a yellowish white underbelly. It was originally the unnamed marine reptile in the game being only referred to as "Mosasaur". In Laura Sorkin's research journal, she describes the creature and labels it "Mosasaur". She also writes: "Upwards of 50 feet long, depending on genus." From this text it is clear that she doesn't know its genus, indicating that she calls the creature "Mosasaur", she refers to the family to which it belongs; which is Mosasaurs (Mosasauridae). The identity of Jurassic Park's Mosasaur was ultimately revealed to be Tylosaurus in the InGen Field Guide.
- Tylosaurus is number 127 of the Carnivore Threes that can be created in Jurassic Park III: Park Builder. As a carnivore, it should be placed in its own enclosure, considering that if it gets placed with another animal, it will kill it. In-game it looks like a plesiosaur, probably because the game makers didn't have large enough a budget to make its own model.
- Tylosaurus appears in the underwater park update for the game Jurassic Park: Builder.
- Tylosaurus appears in the underwater section for the game Jurassic World: The Game as a VIP surface creature.
- It appears in Sea Monsters: A Prehistoric Adventure as well as the game spinoff as the top predator.
- It was the giant mosasaur in BBC's Chased by Sea Monsters, hunting Nigel Marven and his crew, thinking they were an Archelon.
- It appears in The Rite Of Spring in Fantasia where several tylosaurs appear swimming in the coastal ocean in a group, surfacing to gasp for air. Late on in the scene, one of these top predators of the sea catches a Pteranodon by the head as it skims the water's surface, fishing for squid and fish. The Tylosaurus depicted in Fantasia had spikes on its neck and back region, features the real animal did not sport. However, this makes sense for the time as the scientists who discovered the Tylosaurus first thought that it had spines down its back, but it was discovered later on that it had a smooth back.