'The most dangerous creature to patrol the Earth's oceans'

Mother nature's ultimate hunting machine: 'Predator X'


You wouldn't want to run into "Predator X," the vicious marine dinosaur that swam in the much-warmer Arctic waters of 147 million years ago.

Armed with four flippers, the Predator X probably used its two front flippers for cruising, but all four flippers when speeding towards its prey.

Last summer, while working on Svalbard Island off Norway's Arctic coast, an international team of paleontologists unearthed the partial skull of this 15-metre long marine reptile. The team, led by Dr. Jørn Hurum from the Natural History Museum at the University of Oslo, also excavated 20,000 fossil bone fragments.

After study, Hurum and his colleagues now say this dinosaur is likely to have been the ultimate predator – "the most dangerous creature to patrol the Earth's oceans."

Several months of cleaning and studying the fossil skull have revealed that Predator X had a small, elongated brain resembling the skulls of another predator, the great white shark.

But Predator X was huge. Weighing in at 40 tonnes, Predator X had massive jaws. Its triangle-shaped teeth, each measuring a foot large, could clamp down on prey with an estimated 15,000 kilos of bite force.

That's 10 times the bite force of any animal alive today and four times the bite force of tyrannosaurus rex.

Could Predator X have roamed off what is today Nunavut? Definitely, Hurum told the Nunatsiaq News.

"It is just a matter of looking more," Hurum said, because rock layers from the same era exist in the High Arctic islands, where similar fossils have already been found.

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