Dunkleosteus: A Deep Dive into the Devonian Apex Predator
Presented by James Boyle, Ph.D.
The arthrodires were a highly diverse group of armored fishes that flourished during the Devonian Period. Their fossils have been found from the high Arctic to Antarctica and in deposits ranging from open ocean basins to freshwater streams. Among the arthrodires, the most famous is Dunkleosteus. An apex predator of the open oceans which reached an estimated length of 29 feet, it was among the latest surviving members of the group. Dunkleosteus is known from perhaps hundreds of partially complete skulls, due to their large size and exceptionally robust nature, from both North America and northern Africa. This has led to Dunkleosteus being used as a standard of comparison for other arthrodires since its anatomy is well-known, as well as the subject of biomechanical investigations. However, this understanding is based almost exclusively on large (presumably adult) individuals and it is only recently that small specimens (i.e. subadults or juveniles) have been discovered. These new specimens help to understand the variation, growth patterns, ecology, and biogeography of this important member of the placoderm lineage.
Contact us about sponsoring this meeting!
Approval for one Professional Development Hour for licensed professionals is pending!
James Boyle is a native of the Buffalo area growing up in the town of Hamburg, not far from the Penn Dixie Fossil Park, which helped sustain interest in paleontology from a young age. He attended Case Western Reserve University for his undergraduate degrees in geology and evolutionary biology. While there he began research on the extinct armored fishes known as placoderms from the Late Devonian working with the collections of the Cleveland Museum of Natural History. Dr. Boyle returned to Buffalo to pursue a masters and then Ph.D. in evolution, ecology, and behavior at the University of Buffalo where his research focused on the biostratigraphically important graptolites. After graduating in 2018 he taught as an adjunct professor at SUNY Geneseo and Niagara University before being hired as a clinical faculty in the geology department at the University of Buffalo. Currently, Dr. Boyle is circling back to placoderms exploring the local rocks in the creeks south of Buffalo and the Buffalo Museum Collections with undergraduate students to fill out a poorly known interval of time in the group's evolutionary history.
Dinner included in price. Please use the registration form to select your meal choice.
5:30-6:30 pm Registration and Social Hour (cash bar)
6:30-7:30 pm Dinner
7:00 - 8:00 Presentation