Dunkleosteus – A Very Popular Placoderm

By | July 7th, 2018|Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products|0 Comments

Dunkleosteus – A Very Popular Placoderm

One of the iconic animals of the Devonian is the large, Placoderm predator Dunkleosteus (D. terrelli).  This huge, prehistoric fish with self-sharpening shears for jaws and an armoured head is just one of more than 200 genera of Placoderms described to date, but as it measured around six metres in length, it competed with early sharks for the role of apex marine predator.  The new for 2018 CollectA 1:20 scale replica of this carnivore is one of just a handful of models that have been produced, as such, it is very rare to have any Devonian vertebrates included in the model portfolio from a mainstream manufacturer.

The CollectA 1:20 Scale Replica of Dunkleosteus

The CollectA Dunkleosteus

The CollectA 1:20 scale Dunkleosteus replica which was introduced in 2018.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

To view the CollectA 1:20 scale Dunkleosteus model and the other figures in the CollectA Deluxe range: CollectA Deluxe Prehistoric Life

Dermal Armour Up to Five Centimetres Thick

The formidable, armoured head might have made up more than a third of the animal’s entire body length and there is no doubting that this fish had a ferocious bite, but scratches, puncture wounds and gouges preserved on the dermal plates (which in the very biggest specimens were up to five centimetres thick), attest to the fact that these carnivores were attacked themselves.  Whether this pathology, preserved on the fossils represents a record of attempted predation, or whether these wounds were caused by intraspecific combat remains open to debate.

Intriguingly, if other Dunkleosteus fish did not cause these wounds, then what sort of marine predator did?  Is there some unknown Devonian assailant still awaiting discovery in Late Devonian strata somewhere?

A Reconstructed Skull of Dunkleosteus on Display at the Senckenberg Nature Museum

A Dunkleosteus exhibit.

A Dunkleosteus cast on display at the Senckenberg Nature Museum (Frankfurt, Germany).

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The Placoderms (Class Placodermi), arose in the Early Silurian and they persisted for tens of millions of years, evolving into a myriad of forms. However, as far as the fossil record goes, there is no record of Placoderms surviving into the Carboniferous.  The last of these armoured fish became extinct at the end of the Devonian (Famennian faunal stage of the Late Devonian).

The CollectA Dunkleosteus Replica

CollectA Dunkleosteus.

CollectA 1:20 scale Deluxe Dunkleosteus model.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur