Pliosaurus funkei, formerly the Svalbard Pliosaur which was codenamed Predator X by the team that discovered it, was discovered in February 2008 by a group of researchers from the University of Oslo, lead by the famous Norwegian paleontologist, Dr. Jørn Hurum of the Natural History Museum at the University of Oslo. This massive creature's total body length was about 10-13 meters (33-43 ft.). The Svalbard Pliosaur was one of the largest pliosaurs ever found. Like all pliosaurs, it was a carnivorous marine reptile that fed on fish and other plesiosaurs. This specimen was anatomically the same as most pliosaurs. It mostly resembles the Kronosaurus, but it was much larger. It is possible that we will find bigger specimens in the future.
Pliosaurus would have swam at quite a slow pace but it would have been a very powerful swimmer similar to whales of today. It may or may not have been countershaded like the great white shark today. This means that it would have been dark on top to blend in with the oceans dark depths and light on the underside to blend in with the bright sunlit surface. This would have enabled it to sneak up on its unsuspecting prey then take a great bite into its prey which would have inevitably spelled the end for it. Pliosaurus would have had a very big bite force because of its relatively short neck, massive head, big snout and great weight. This bite force would have enabled it to go for armoured prey like ammonites.
In the media
- Pliosaurus funkei was featured in the fourth episode of the documentary Planet Dinosaur under the name Predator X. It hunted a pod of Kimmerosaurus several times before finally succeeding in killing one.
- Pliosaurus appeared in Jurassic World: The Game.
- Pliosaurus appeared in Jurassic Park Builder, as a limited edition piscivore.
- Pliosaurus appeared on Dinosaur Train.