Art Print: Dunkleosteus – 11″ x 17″ color print on White heavyweight card stock.
Art Print - Dunkleosteus
During the "Age of Fishes", or more accurately known as the Devonian Period, between 410 to 360 million years ago, there was no creature in the sea that could go up against this monster without being cut in half. The Dunkleosteus was a swimming tank, armed with enormous teeth like plates and a jaw that produced more bite force than just about any living thing since. It was the largest of all Placoderms, the first fish with jaws and the first animals to give live birth, but which are most famously recognized for their bony head armor. These mostly predatory fish, came in every size, and ruled over every body of water on Earth, whether fresh or salt. The ten meter long, Dunkleosteus, were not sharks though, which at the time were quite minuscule in comparison, and not much of a challenge to the Dunk's throne. This muscular, swimming juggernaut, was the undisputed king of the seas for a quick 50 million years or so, disappearing along with all other Placoderms, during the the late Devonian extinction event.
I've always been enthralled with the huge Paleozoic Era bony fish, and knew this would be one of the first organisms I'd draw as a tee-shirt design. There are a lot of different species of Dunk's found in the fossil record, as fossils of the beasts are commonly found all over the world, especially in Ohio near Cleveland. So, I had a lot of reference to go off of, from my own pictures taken of the wonderful, life size model hanging in the New York Natural History Museum, to various other photographs of fossils, toys, models, and museum reconstructions that have been made of this savage fish. My combination of all these different sources, resulted in what you see here. I made him a little less shark like than the NY model, but kept the big, long pectoral fins. I also wanted to make him appear scaleless and strangely muscular, like an enormous Mekong Catfish. I don't imagine the Dunk to be the lumbering, chubby beast that many depict him as.