Reviewing the Collecta Mosasaurus Model
This is a review of the Collecta Mosasaurus replica that was introduced into the Collecta Prehistoric Life range in 2014. Ironically, the first published description of a Mosasaur fossil occurred in 1764 when quarry workers uncovered the partial skull of a strange creature near the town of Maastricht in Holland. So this year marks the 250th anniversary of that discovery.
Mosasaurs are not dinosaurs They are not even closely related. Mosasaurs are part of the Squamata Order of reptiles, the lizards and snakes. As mentioned earlier, the first fossils of the animals we now know as Mosasaurs came from quarries in the Netherlands, located close to the River Meuse. The name for this river originates from old French which in turn has its root in Latin the word MOSA. Hence this group of marine lizards came to be called Mosasaurs which means "lizards from the river Meuse".
The Collecta model depicts Mosasaurus, there are a number of species in this genus, we suspect that this model is based on Mosasaurus hoffmanni , it is certainly a large model, but then this was one of the largest Mosasaurs, perhaps reaching lengths of 13- 15 meters, rivalling some of the very largest Mosasaurs known from the Western Interior Seaway of the United States. Unlike the largest of the North American Mosasaurs, Mosasaurus hoffmanni had a more robust appearance with a deeper, wider body. Weight estimates do vary, but some palaeontologists have suggested that this animal could have exceeded 2,000 kilograms in weight.
Advanced Member of the Mosasauridae Family
Mosasaurus was one of the most advanced of all the Mosasaurs. The strong skull and big teeth, that have been beautifully reproduced in this replica, would have given this marine predator a powerful bite. Many smaller Mosasaurs would have swallowed their prey whole, but it is likely that a fully grown Mosasaurus would have hunted much larger prey, including other marine reptiles such as turtles, smaller Mosasaurs and Plesiosaurs. The jaws and skull bones indicate that this animal was capable of biting chunks out of its victims. Ripping large prey to pieces so that it could be more easily swallowed.
Wonderfully Painted Replica
This model is beautifully painted, the smooth skin has been colored battleship gray with a slight rust coloring around the skull and jaws. The white bands and spots remind us of Whale Sharks. As far as we know, each model has a slightly different arrangement of spots on it, making each replica unique.
Although this is not marketed as scale model, it is a relatively large replica measuring around 28cm in length. Based on a life-size of 14 meters or so, we estimate that this Collecta model is about 1:50 scale. It is a wonderful model and depicts this marine reptile as a stream-lined, powerful hunter. It represents a very modern interpretation of a prehistoric animal whose fossils were first described 250 years ago. This model is very well made and highly recommended.