Euphotic dunkleosteus are found in most warm, shallow waterways, though never in high populations. Their size requires them to consume a large amount of food, especially during the winter months, so it is rare to find more than one dunkleosteus in a stretch of river at a time. They can migrate long distances, though, and every few years will congregate out in shallow bays near the mouths of these rivers to breed. They do not spawn, unlike most bony fishes, and the females may carry their eggs for over a year before laying it in a muddy channel. No one is sure how euphotic dunkleosteus choose where to lay their eggs, but they usually seek out areas far from where they normally hunt. The grueling breeding season usually only occurs once every ten years, so it can take a long time for dunkleosteus populations to recover from disastrous events and overhunting. Euphotic dunkleosteus are sought after amongst magi who dedicate their lives to helping others, as shed scales and algae scrubbed off from the euphotic dunkleosteus have many healing properties.
This algae-encrusted egg appears to be made out of hard, bony plates.
Unlike many hatchlings, dunkleosteus hatch out of their eggs fully formed and able to take care of themselves. They receive no care from their parents and must avoid any dunkleosteus large enough to see them as a meal. Already the youngsters sport their own heavy plates that allow them to crush the hard shells of mollusks and pierce through nearly anything that can fit in their mouths. They do not seem to care much about land creatures and only really pay attention to large flying creatures if they are near the surface; the dunkleosteus are already heavy enough that most common birds cannot lift them. The hatchlings may occasionally watch their magi from within Lake Lakira with their wide, lidless eyes, but otherwise they are not especially responsive. Even the most foolhardy young magi know not to dip their toes into water where dunkleosteus dwell, otherwise they may not have toes for much longer.
At over ten meters long and armed with shearing plates instead of teeth, an adult dunkleosteus is a near-unstoppable force in the waters where it resides. Though not particularly fast swimmers, dunkleosteus can open and extend their jaws to snap up prey before an onlooker can blink. These massive fish have forgone sharpened teeth for a bladelike bony projection that extends off the lower jaw and parts of the cranium and allows the fish to easily pierce through the toughest hides. They use this to their advantage, preying upon nearly any large creature they can catch, whether turtles, sharks, whales, or even other armored fish. Some dunkleosteus have been known to cannibalize younger fish, and so they must be kept separate from the adults until they are large enough to withstand infrequent attacks. Dunkleosteus are typically ambush predators, and will only attack when they are well in range of their targets.
Obtained from: Shop, The Herbalist Shop: 7700 gold
Renaming cost: 2000 gold
Release date: March 5th 2017
Sprite art: Tekla | Description: PKGriffin