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On History Channel, scientist puts the bite on 'Predator X'

A two-hour program tracks an extinct ocean monster with a mean chomp.

March 28, 2009|Melissa Rohlin

Paleontologist Jorn Hurum used to have nightmares about the Loch Ness monster -- until he found something bigger. "Predator X," a two-hour special on History (8 p.m. Sunday), documents Hurum's uncovering of an extinct marine reptile that patrolled our oceans 150 million years ago. It was 50 feet long, weighed 45 tons and possessed a 33,000-pound bite.

After excavating the Predator's skull from the remote Arctic Ocean archipelago of Svalbard, Norway, Hurum and his team used science to extrapolate its size, tendencies and intelligence.

While History hopes the science of the program interests viewers, Nancy Dubuc, the executive vice president and general manager of the channel, said, "A discovery like this can reignite the imagination and remind you that there are things out there that you don't know."

The documentary goes to southern England, where Steve Etches, who collects prehistoric relics, shows us Predator X's world. Hurum then goes to South Africa to witness a great white shark attacking its prey, because he believes that the Predator would have attacked its prey in a similar manner (but was five times its size).

Dubuc said with a laugh, "The question is, if the creature was 50 feet long, how did we miss it?"

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calendar@latimes.com

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'Predator X'

Where: History

When: 8 p.m. Sunday

Rating: TV-PG (may be unsuitable for young children)

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