WASHINGTON (Nov. 28) – It was the first super predator of the ancient seas and its fearsome, jagged jaws still inspire awe 400 million years later.
The armor-plated fish Dunkleosteus was a 33-foot, four-ton monster that terrorized other marine life in the Devonian Period, which spanned 415 million to 360 million years ago.
While lacking true teeth, Dunkleosteus used two long, bony blades in its mouth to snap and crush nearly any creature unfortunate enough to encounter it.
Scientists at the Field Museum in Chicago and the University of Chicago decided to test Dunkleosteus’s reputation for wielding some of the most powerful jaws ever on Earth, creating a biomechanical model to simulate its jaws.
They came away impressed.
In research published on Tuesday in Britain’s Royal Society journal Biology Letters, they said the big fish’s bite packed 11,000 pounds of force.
The full fascinating story can be read here.