Friday, November 09, 2012

DUNKLEOSTEUS: Unbridled Power

During the “Age of Fishes” (about 360 million years ago), Dunkleosteus ruthlessly ruled the oceans. Constantly searching for prey, this huge armored Fish patrolled the shallow seas of the Devonian. Finding an unlucky Fish, Dunkleosteus would then shear his victim in half with his huge jaws.  After ripping out the meat, He would gulp huge chunks of it down whole.  What He could not digest, Dunkleosteus spat out onto the ocean floor.
For ten million years, Dunkleosteus was the apex predator, eating everyone He encountered.  Weighing 4 tons (3.6 metric tons) and 33 feet long (10 meters), He naturally dominated the Devonian oceans.  Moreover, Dunkleosteus grew armored plates all over his head and the front part of his body.  Furthermore, his eyes were set inside four pieces of bone for more protection.  His fearsome “teeth” were actually ragged extensions of his jawbone, which grew out and became sharp at the ends.  To hunt his prey, Dunkleosteus would create a vacuum, and then suck in his prey, before snapping his jaws shut. In fact, this formable Fish had a stronger bite power than a T. rex.
Fortunately for the other animals, the reign of terror of Dunkleosteus only lasted ten million years.  His Class of Fish – the Placoderms (the armored Fish) became extinct about the end of the Devonian period.  They were the only class of vertebrates to do so.  With all their formable armor, these Fish could not outlast the more nimble Sharks or Boney Fish, who still exist today. When the sea changed and mass extinctions occurred, Dunkleosteus could not survive.
            Unbridled power is what Dunkleosteus teaches.  This heavily-armored Fish with his body armor terrorized all the other animals.  In fact, fossil evidence shows that He even ate his own kind, hence no one was safe from Him.  Such a predator could not rely on anyone else for help, since everyone was food, including the other Dunkleosteus, who also regarded Him as food as well.  With his unbridled power came a feeling of vulnerability because He had to be on guard at all times.  We can learn from Dunkleosteus, the cost of the ruthless use of power.  In the end, his reckless use of power caused Him to go extinct.  From Dunkleosteus’ example, we are urged to judicially use our power.

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