The Bunker Mosasaur

A mosasaur (extinct marine reptile) fossil cast curled up with a big jaw, hanging in the museum's lobby. View is from ground looking up. Photo by Meg Kumin.

View the largest mosasaur found, the 45-foot-long Tylosaurus, an extinct marine reptile. Mosasaurs like this were plentiful in the area during the Cretaceous, about 80 million years ago. At that time, the salt water Western Interior Seaway covered what is now known as Kansas, and other North American central states. 

This sea teemed with fish, sharks, mosasaurs and microscopic creatures while dinosaurs roamed on land and pterosaurs flew in the sky. 

This mosasaur was found in Wallace County, Kansas in 1911 by Charles Bunker and team, who were collecting birds and mammals for KU. In 2014, the Kansas state legislature designated Tylosaurus as the official state marine fossil. 

The "Bunker" mosasaur was an adult male and probably weighed about 8 tons when alive. Be sure to also visit the 5th floor for another unique perspective on the mosasaur and more information!

About the Exhibit

  • 4th Floor

  • 5th Floor