Paleozoic Earth ] Back | Next >

Location
 North America
 370 million years ago

Mean atmospheric O2
 75% of modern level

Mean atmospheric CO2
 8x pre-industrial level

Mean temperature
 6C above modern level

 

Paleozoic Earth - A 30-foot-long Dunkleosteus terrellix about to dine on a six-foot-long Cladoselache 370 million years ago; Rheic Ocean; pachyosteomorph arthrodires; Placodermi; Cladoselachiformes - Natural History Illustration Geologic Time Scale

 Era: Paleozoic
  Period: Devonian
   Epoch: Late
    Age: Famennian

     
 

Dunkleosteus & Cladoselache

A 30-foot-long, four-ton hypercarnivorous apex predator of the species Dunkleosteus terrellix is about to make a meal of a six-foot-long primitive shark of the genus Cladoselache 370 million years ago in the Rheic Ocean near what is today North America. Dunkleosteus terrellix was one of the largest arthrodire placoderms ever to have lived. Nearly as long as a school bus, it was heavily armored and therefore likely a relatively slow but powerful swimmer.

There are four Cladoselache/primitive sharks in this image. The schooling fish are representative of the class Actinopterygii, a sub-class of the bony fishes which emerged about 420 million years ago, while the sea jellies are representative of the subphylum Medusozoa.

 

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Copyright Walter B. Myers. All rights reserved.

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