November 29, 2006

Scientists Discover Most Powerful Fish

U.S. scientists have determined a prehistoric sea monster had the most powerful bite of any creature yet known: up to 80,000 pounds per square inch.

Scientists have known for years the fish -- Dunkleosteus terrelli -- was a dominant predator about 400 million years ago. But new research indicates some incredible information about the fish, including the fact it could bring its fangs together with a force of nearly 11,000 pounds -- that's nearly four times more power than a Tyrannosaurus rex.

Philip Anderson of the University of Chicago -- who led the study -- says the creature -- which grew to 33 feet in length and weighed as much as four tons -- was also capable of opening its mouth in just 0.02 second. That would have created suction capable of drawing prey into its mouth.

The research by Anderson and Mark Westneat, curator of fish at the Field Museum in Chicago, appears in the current issue of the journal Biology Letters.