Abstract

Co-ossified pygal and caudal vertebrae in Late Cretaceous mosasaurs from the southeast Netherlands, northeast Belgium, and North America are compared with lumbar and caudal vertebrae from fossil and extant whales. Both infectious spondylitis and idiopathic vertebral hyperostosis afflicted these marine tetrapods. The causes of the infectious disease and of the idiopathic disease are similar in the compared life forms. The location of idiopathic hyperostosis along the vertebral column implicates axial locomotion in mosasaurs, as in whales.

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