The second new addition for the Carnegie Collection in 2009 is a mosasaur – the ferocious Tylosaurus. Mosasaurs are a real rarity in toy form so this is an exciting release! The figure might be considered a replacement for the now retired Carnegie Collection Mosasaurus. I’ll say from the start that the new Tylosaurus is a simply stunning replica – it blows poor old Mosasaurus out of the water.
This is a sizeable piece, just short of 30 cm. The sinuous sculpt is full of energy and the mouth is wide open as if snapping at some unfortunate Cretaceous creature. The fins form rounded paddles and the individual digits are even visible supporting the webbed fins, the number of digits and their orientation is accurate. Mosasaurs used their long flattened tails for propulsion and the Carnegie Tylosaurus tail rightly has a gentle undulating appearance.
One of the most impressive aspects of this figure is the huge attention to detail in and around the mouth. In overall shape the head is pointed and the slit-like nostrils are retracted. The teeth are individually sculpted, there are palatine teeth on the roof of the mouth and the tongue and gullet are sculpted in great detail too. The very front part of the mouth forms a pointed tip, which extends beyond the teeth – this is an accurate characteristic for Tylosaurus. The species name Tylosaurus proriger even means ‘prow-bearing knob lizard’ in reference to this anatomical feature. Safari have clearly been doing their homework, consulting with mosasaur specialist Mike Everhart has given this model a scientific edge.
Although mosasaur skin is known to have been scaly, the individual scales were small and so they are not apparent at this 1/40 scale. The skin is therefore smooth and has a beautiful and fitting watery sheen. The animal is countershaded with dark green on the top and paler green and white on the underside. A striking series of deep green stripes run along the length of the body and down the tail. Sculptor Forest Rogers should be congratulated on this piece, which I highly recommend.