X (This is not a binomal name for a genus, it is more a reference
name for an as yet undescribed marine reptile that is still under
Phonetic: Pred-a-tor ecks.
Classification: Chordata, Reptilia, Sauropterygia, Plesiosauria, Neoplesiosauria, Pliosauroidea - Further than this remains uncertain at this time.
Species: Binomal name not currently granted.
Size: Possibly as much as 15 meters long.
Known locations: Svalbard.
Time period: Tithonian of the Jurassic.
Fossil representation: Single very fragmentary individual composed of around twenty thousand pieces.
X is the informal name given to a marine reptile that is still
undergoing reconstruction and study. This marine reptile is
excitingly, possibly the largest pliosaur ever to live, but
frustratingly the most fragmented. With fossil remains of an
individual that is composed of roughly twenty thousand bone fragments,
the reconstruction of Predator X is akin to assembling a super
difficult three dimensional jigsaw without even the original image for
reference. As such palaeontologists have been painstakingly
reassembling this massive marine predator, doing everything that they
can to get it right.
From the work done so far Predator X appears to have been an exceptionally large pliosaur, a group of marine reptiles that were an evolutionary offshoot from the long necked plesiosaurs that ended up being the apex predators of the worlds’ oceans throughout the Jurassic and early to mid-Cretaceous periods. Unlike their plesiosaur cousins however, pliosaurs notably had shorter necks that supported much larger skulls. Early indications of the total size of Predator X suggest that it may have grown to around fifteen meters long, making it much bigger that other well-known large pliosaurs such as Kronosaurus and Pliosaurus and a lot bigger than Liopleurodon which is often incorrectly labelled as reaching twenty-five meters long when in fact the largest known specimen is a little over six meters long. Predator X may have also been a match for the later giant mosasaurs such as Tylosaurus and Mosasaurus which lived later at the end of the Cretaceous.
The large size of Predator X meant that when fully grown it would have been capable of taking down almost any other prey from marine reptiles like plesiosaurs, ichthyosaurs and smaller pliosaurs to gigantic fish similar to Leedsichthys. The massive jaws would have had equally powerful muscles that would have given Predator X one of the largest bite forces of all the animals in the fossil record, although the giant shark C. megalodon may have been able to match Predator X, with larger individuals actually exceeding it. Regardless of whether Predator X had the highest bite force or not, its thirty centimetre long teeth would still have been driven through the bodies of prey animals with easily enough force to kill them.
Study regarding the brain cavity of Predator X has revealed that its brain was actually similar to the much smaller great white shark (Carcharodon carcharias) in both size and type. This is not to imply that Predator X was stupid however as in order to be an effective hunter it would just need the brain power to analyse its surroundings and identify prey. Beyond this further development would be unnecessary.