Nov

29

The fossil record of life on earth can be read as sequential ecological dominance. It is interesting how formidable species at the top of then-current food chains often become extinct.

Dunkleosteus terrelli is a fish which bit with 11,000 pounds of force (twice that of great white shark), which along with other big-biters (T. Rex) are dodos of other eons.

When this creature terrorized oceans full of big prey, what were eminent forces that would end his reign? Temperature change? Small prey? Disease?

Species success and dominance appears to require risks of commitment and inertia, which pay off competitively but increase vulnerability to unforeseeable environmental shifts.

Dylan Distasio comments:

An interesting creature for sure … This type of fish (Placoderm) was wiped out in one of Earth’s great mass extinctions in the late Devonian period. It is rather startling to look at just how many species died as a % of the total on Earth during any one of the given recorded mass extinctions.


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