Analysis of the fossilized remains of a huge dinosaur, dubbed ‘Predator X’, has indicated that it boasted a bite up to 11 times as strong as that of Tyrannosaurus rex, making it the most fearsome animal ever to swim the oceans.
According to a report in The Times, the fossil remains of the huge pliosaur were dug up last summer from the permafrost on Svalbard, a Norwegian island close to the North Pole.
Researchers have been astonished by the size of the reptile, which exceeded even that of another pliosaur, called ‘The Monster,’ which was found at the same site a year earlier.
Predator X is thought to have been at least 50 feet long, perhaps more, and measurements of its bulk suggest that it would have weighed in at 45 tonnes.
Its discovery was announced in Oslo by Jorn Hurum, of the University of Oslo, who led the expedition to dig up the remains.
At least 20,000 fragments have been recovered including most of the jaws, which were 10 feet long.
Analysis revealed that the animal was a turbo-charged swimmer. Its front flippers allowed the creature to cruise along comfortably, but when prey came into range, the power of its hind flippers kicked in to provide extra acceleration.
Measurements of its jaw and the killing power of its dagger-like teeth have shown that it could bite down with a force of 33,000lb per square inch compared with T. rex’s 3,000lb per square inch.
“It was the most ferocious hunter ever. It’s like a turbo-charged predator. This is a very, very large carnivore,” Dr Hurum said.
He added that Predator X was smaller than the biggest marine reptile yet known, a 75ft ichthyosaur from 210 million years ago, and was about the same length as the largest fossil shark to have been identified by palaeontologists.
Predator X, however, was armed with much bigger teeth and, with its ability to close in at enormous speed, would have been much faster and deadlier than either of them