BIO 203



Some of the earliest prehistoric placoderms actually reproduced by having live birth (Long et al., 2008).  Whether or not Dunkleosteus terrelli specifically had live birth or laid eggs is unknown.  A fossil of a closely related placoderm that was found showed a young embryonic skeleton inside of an adult skeleton (Long et al. 2009).  The fossil was then dated the oldest fossil ever found, indicating live birth in placoderms.  The fossil found was of a closely related placoderm to D. terrelli, the Ptyctodontids, and it provided a clear understanding of internal fertilization in some prehistoric placoderms.  (Young, 2010).  Relying on fossils of extinct organisms makes it rather difficult for researchers to find evidence on what reproductive strategy organisms used.  Therefore, the reproductive strategy of D. terrelli is still unclear.  But there have been some speculations that the adult D. terrelli lived in deeper water and the younger D. terrelli lived in shallower water (Carr & Jackson, 2008).  Fossils of juvenile D. terrelli were found closer to land while adult D. terrelli were found farther away from land.  Some researchers have gone on to say that it is possible that the reproduction of D. terrelli happened in the shallower water (Long et al., 2008).  Visit our habitat page for a map of where D. terrelli fossils have been found!




To continure on learning about how D. terrelli interacted with other organisms, visit our interactions page!


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