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Dunkleosteus Bite Strength
Dunkleosteus terrelli lived 400 million years ago, grew up to 33 feet long
and weighed up to four tons. Scientist have known for years that it was a
dominant predator, but new embargoed research to be published in the Royal
Society journal Biology Letters on November 29 reveals that the force of
this predator's bite was remarkably powerful: 11,000 pounds. The bladed
dentition focused the bite force into a small area, the fang tip, at an
incredible force of 80,000 pounds per square inch.
Even more surprising is the fact that this fish could also open its mouth
very quickly--in just one fiftieth of a second--which created a strong
suction force, pulling fast prey into its mouth. Usually a fish has either
a powerful bite or a fast bite, but not both.