A giant lizard that ruled the prehistoric seas up to 85 million years ago, killing anything in its path, was a skilled hunter as deadly as a shark, Swedish scientists have said.
At a time when T-Rex roamed the land, the Prognathodon was the top predator underwater, using its tail fin to propel itself at speed and grab prey ranging from turtles to sharks.
The terrifying creatures could grow up to 17 metres long, weigh as much as 20 tonnes and would have spent most of the day swimming near the seabed stalking their next meal from the cover of seaweed and rocks.
A giant lizard that ruled the seas 85 million years ago was as deadly as a shark, Swedish scientists have said. The Prognathodon used its tail fin to propel itself at speed and grab prey ranging from turtles to sharks. A fossil, skeleton diagram and illustration of the creature is pictured
Being caught in the jaws of a Prognathodon meant almost certain death, although the lizards were still vulnerable to attack themselves, with one fossil bearing the marks of a shark bite in its spine.
The latest and best specimen was dug up from rocks in central Jordan, with part of its soft tissue preserved, including the perfect outlines of its tail fin and flippers.
A member of the mosasaur family, the marine reptile discovered measured just five feet long and was a juvenile when it died. It would have ended up six times its size had it lived.