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Ancient 'Predator X' Sea Monster Gets Official Name
October 18, 2012
3:49 am
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En-Lugal
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Ancient 'Predator X' Sea Monster Gets Official Name

By Tia Ghose, LiveScience Contributor | LiveScience.com – 11 hrs ago

It's official: A giant, marine reptile that roamed the seas roughly 150 million years ago is a new species, researchers say. The animal, now named Pliosaurus funkei, spanned about 40 feet (12 meters) and had a massive 6.5-foot-long (2 m) skull with a bite four times as powerful as Tyrannosaurus rex.

"They were the top predators of the sea," said study co-author Patrick Druckenmiller, a paleontologist at the University of Alaska Museum. "They had teeth that would have made a T. rex whimper."

Combined with other fossil finds, the newly discovered behemoth skeletons of P. funkei paint a picture of an ancient Jurassic-era ocean filled with giant predators.

In 2006, scientists unearthed two massive pliosaur skeletons in Svalbard, Norway, a string of islands halfway between Europe and the North Pole. The giant creatures, one of which was dubbed Predator X at the time, looked slightly different from other pliosaurs discovered in England and France over the last century and a half. [See Images of Predator X]

Now, after years of painstaking analysis of the jaw, vertebrae and forelimbs, the researchers have determined that Predator X is in fact a new species, and they have officially named it for Bjorn and May-Liss Funke, volunteers who first discovered the fossils.

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I remember watching a documentary where they uncovered a skeleton. They extracted the skull and flew it to a lab with an MRI. It was pretty cool.

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December 13, 2012
7:42 am
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I wonder how it would match up against Megalodon

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December 19, 2012
7:03 am
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En-Lugal
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"TerryG" wrote: I wonder how it would match up against Megalodon

I'm sure someone at the Syfy channel are making a cheesey movie based on that. Laugh

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