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Thread: Fossil of 'ultimate predator' unearthed in Arctic

  1. #1 Fossil of 'ultimate predator' unearthed in Arctic 
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Nirgendwo und Ueberall
    Fossil remains of a huge and fearsome marine predator, dubbed "Predator X", have been discovered in Svalbard, a remote Norwegian Arctic archipelago.

    About 15 metres long and weighing 45 tonnes, the creature is a new species of pliosaur, and ruled the Jurassic seas some 147 million years ago.

    Predator X had a head twice the size of Tyrannosaurus rex and its bite had four times the force, at around 15,000 kilograms (33,000 pounds) over the whole jaw. Its teeth were each around 30 centimetres (1 foot) long.

    The remains were discovered in June 2008 during a two-week expedition led by Jørn Hurum of the Natural History Museum at the University of Oslo.

    'Ultimate predator'
    "Its anatomy, physiology and hunting strategy all point to it being the ultimate predator – the most dangerous creature to patrol the Earth's oceans," according to the museum.

    The key find enabling the dimensions of the beast to be calculated was a spherical bone called the bassioccipital condyle, which connected the base of the skull to the spine.

    "The condyle we found measures 15 centimetres in diameter, the largest of any known pliosaur species," explains Hurum. "By comparison, the condyle of T. Rex measures just 8 centimetres, meaning that Predator X's skull was at least double the size," he says.

    Giant jigsaw
    In all, the team found 20,000 fragments of the creature's skeleton, which is being assembled at the museum.

    Analyses of bones from the four flippers suggest that the animal cruised using just two fore-flippers – using the back pair for extra speed when pursuing and capturing prey.

    Predator X's brain was of a similar type and size, proportionally, to that of today's great white shark, the team says.

    The full details of the find are to be published later this year, and a documentary following the expedition will be shown around the world from May.

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  3. #2  
    Lem is offline
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    Oct 2009
    Wow! This Predator X certainly sounds like a formidible predator indeed.

    As a Pliosaur, it would presumabley also be quite swift?

    If there are any pictures, I'd love to see them.

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  4. #3  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    Jul 2005
    Quote Originally Posted by Lem
    If there are any pictures, I'd love to see them.
    Artists impressions and photos from the expedition that discovered the fossil can be found here:

    There are a host of articles available from this google search

    The first article indicates that a paper on the fossil would be published late in 2008, but I an unable to locate this. Perhaps you will have better luck.
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  5. #4  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard spuriousmonkey's Avatar
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    May 2005
    it's already 2009.

    great pictures on that site. I actually made one my desktop. I was fed up at looking at a picture of my daughter who is the ultimate predator. Her teeth are barely longer than 1 cm though.
    "Kill them all and let God sort them out."

    - Arnaud Amalric
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  6. #5  
    Forum Freshman Holbenilord's Avatar
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    Oct 2009
    wasn't Lipleurodon about 15m long? Some sorces say 9m, and some say 23m.
    It's also with Mosasaurs, 13-20m for mosasaurus instead.

    Can anyone give me a real figure?

    Is the new address for speculative evolution.
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