Ancient Sea Monster Gets A Name: Predator X Becomes Pliosaurus Funkei
What do you call a 150 million-year-old, 40-foot-long sea creature with a bite four times as powerful as a Tyrannosaurus Rex? An ancient sea monster recently received the name Pliosaurus Funkei in honor of the two volunteers who discovered the fossil.
According to Live Science, the ancient beast formerly known as Predator X was discovered in Svalbard, Norway in 2006 by Bjorn and May-Liss Funke. Scientists noticed that the fossil looked different than other fossils of pliosaurs that had been previously discovered in England and France. The research team has now concluded that the fossil found in Norway is a new species.
Patrick Druckenmiller, a paleontologist at the University of Alaska Museum and co-author of the study, said that pliosaurs were marine reptiles that lived about 150 million years ago during the Jurassic period.
“They were the top predators of the sea. They had teeth that would have made a T. rex whimper.”
According to Live Science, the Pliosaurus Funkei fossil was just one of nearly 40 specimens discovered in Svalbard. Druckenmiller writes in the Norwegian Journal of Geology that the research team uncovered ichthyosaurs, long neck plesiosaurs, and several invertebrates. According to Druckenmiller, the recently discovered fossils shows that the oceans were once filled with monstrous predators.
“It’s not just that we found a new species, we’ve been discovering a whole ecosystem.”
Pliosaurus Funkei was about 10 feet larger than the ocean’s current apex predator, the killer whale, and had jaws nearly four times as powerful than the Tyrannosaurus Rex.
Here’s an approximate size comparison photo.