HISTORY UNVEILS PREDATOR X
The two-hour special PREDATOR X premieres on HISTORY; on Sunday, March 29 at 8pm ET/PT. On the remote archipelago of Svalbard, just 800 miles from the North Pole, a team of paleontologists from the University of Oslo Natural History Museum, have made a remarkable discovery. Buried beneath the icy landscape of the Arctic are the fossilized remains of a huge creature from the distant past. PREDATOR X is the story of a major discovery; what appears to be an entirely new species; of a massive and powerful predator. The scientific team must excavate it, determine its significance and try to rebuild it to see what it was like — as they discover the astounding power of which this creature was capable. PREDATOR X follows the expedition every step of the way, from painstaking field research to the astonishing find of the amazing creature. The special delves deep into this terrifying ancient mystery, uncovering what is one of the most amazing underwater finds in modern history.
Predator X’s bite was more than 10 times more powerful than any modern animal and four times the bite of a T-Rex, it said of the fossil, reckoned at 147 million years old. Alligators, crocodiles and sharks all now have fearsome bites.
The teeth of the pliosaur, belonging to a new species, were a foot (30 cms) long. The scientists reconstructed the reptile from a partial skull and 20,000 fragments of skeleton.
The pliosaur, estimated to have weighed 45 tonnes, was similar to but had more massive bones than another fossil sea monster found on Svalbard in 2007, also estimated at 50 feet long and the largest pliosaur to date.
“It’s not complete enough to say it’s really bigger than 15 meters,” Hurum said of the new fossil.
Hurum had said of the first fossil pliosaur that it was big enough to chomp on a small car. He said the bite estimates for the latest fossil forced a rethink.
“This one is more like it could crush a Hummer,” he said. referring to General Motors’ large sport utility vehicle.
Among other findings were that the pliosaur had a small thin brain shaped like that of a great white shark, according to scans by Patrick Druckenmiller of the University of Alaska.
Pliosaurs preyed upon squid-like animals, fish, and other marine reptiles. Predator X had four huge flippers to propel itself along, perhaps using just two at cruising speeds and the others for a burst of speed.