Elasmosaur Vertebra

This side view of a fossil vertebra, approximately four inches (10 centimeters) shows the flat front and back surfaces that easily identify it as that of an elasmosaur. Mosasaur vertebrae, on the other hand, have a ball-like front surface and a cup-like back surface for articulation. This fossil was collected in the 1930s in Pickens County and donated to state geologist Winnie McGlammery at the Geologic Survey of Alabama.

Photo courtesy of the Alabama Museum of Natural History

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