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Pythonomorpha

kansas, vol and pyx

PYTHONOMORPHA, a suborder of fos sil marine reptiles whose remains are found in Cretaceous rocks of Europe, the Americas, New Zealand and South Africa. There are about 120 vertebrae in the vertebral column. The skull was long and much resembled that of the lizard. The two pairs of limbs were used as paddles in swimming. The mouth permitted these reptiles to seize large prey which they held by means of their stout conical teeth. Kansas has yielded many well-preserved speci mens from its chalk-beds. Complete skeletons measuring 30 feet in length have been found. The chief divisions of the Pythonomorpha are Tylosaurus, platecarpus, Clidastes and Mosa saurus. The last named was the largest mem ber of the group, sometimes reaching a length of 40 feet. Consult Osborn, Henry Fairfield, 'A Complete Monasaur Skeleton> (in 'Me moirs of the American Museum of Natural His tory,) Vol. I, part iv, New York 1899); Von Zittel and Eastman, 'Textbook of Palwontol (Vol. II, New York 1902) ; Williston, 'On onasaurs, (in Kansas University Quar terly, Vol. II; Lawrence 1893); id., in (Univer

sity Geological Survey of Kansas> (Vol. IV, Topeka 18.98) ; Williston and Case, 'Kansas (in Kansas University Quarterly, Vol. I, Lawrence 1892).

PYX, anciently any casket and in particular a jewel-case. The present significations of the word are: (1) The vessel, of gold or silver, in which, in Catholic churches, the blessed sacra ment is reserved; called also ciborium; and the small silver-gilt vessel in which the host is car ried to the sick for administration at their homes. In former times the pyx had the form of a dove and was suspended above the altar; in present usage it is reserved in the tabernacle or shrine above the high altar. (2) The box or chest in which, at the English mint, specimens of the coinage are deposited, to be tested by a jury of goldsmiths about once in three years; this test is called the atrial of the pyx.