Adult Male

Adult Male
Name: unnamed
Species: Euphotic Dunkleosteus
Birthday: Thursday, December 22, 2022
Owner: Rhia
Mother: unnamed
Father: unnamed

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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.

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.

Sprite art: Tekla | Description: PKGriffin