Mosasaur fossil found by teen boy on display in Maastricht

Mosasaur Lars (Picture: Natural History Museum Maastricht)Mosasaur Lars (Picture: Natural History Museum Maastricht)

14 year old Lars Barten from Rijkevoort made remarkable discovery in the Maastricht ENCI quarry on Saturday. He found rare bones of a mosasaur, a large, extinct marine reptile.

According to the AD, Lars and his father Jos have been going on excursions looking for bones and other remains since Lars was 7. On Saturday the two joined the excursion of the Dutch Geological Society, department Limburg. After two hours of finding nothing, Lars suddenly spotted something.

It turned out to be a piece of bone. After finding several more pieces they called two experts and the foursome continued looking. They finally dug out a total of about 25 skeletal remains. The remains were given to the Natural History Museum in Maastricht.

John Jagt, curator and paleontologist and the museum, called it a remarkable find because "vertebrae in the rear part were found, as well as tail vertebrae and - very special - phalanges of the flippers. The finds are approximately 66.3 million years old." The phalanges are very small, and as they are so well preserved, Jagt thinks that a lot more can be found on that spot.

The museum named the mosasaur after Lars, something he told AD was a great honor. His remarkable discovery can be seen at the National History Museum in Maastricht until April 26th. Then mosasaur Lars will be stored and examined in-house. It will be presented to the public at a later stage, according to the museum.