Scientists uncover proof of horrifying 13ft alien fish with armoured skull

Scientists have learned about a giant "alien fish" that roamed the Earth's seas around 360 million years ago.

The Dunkleosteus is thought to be one of the largest species of fish that has ever roamed the planet and is believed to have dominated an ocean that once covered what is now the US.

And in a new study, scientists have found further evidence of the terrifying creature in Lake Erie, one of the five Great Lakes in North America that sits on the border between the States and Canada.

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But the discovery has led scientists to believe they may have been wrong about the enormous sea creature, which they once thought was around 30 feet long.

Now, following the discovery, it seems the Dunkleosteus – nicknamed "Dunk" – was actually around 13 feet, about the size of an average great white shark.

Russell Engelman, a doctoral student at Case Western University in Cleveland, told Live Science: "I went back through the literature, and it turned out that most previous authors who had talked about this were basically just eyeballing it."

But that doesn't make the beast any less formidable – the Dunkleosteus had a huge jaw that could snap shut, exerting 8,000 pounds of force on anything between its teeth, and a bony "armoured" skull, meaning it still would have been a vicious predator even at a smaller size than initially thought.

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The fish's bizarre cranium is also what helped the fish to be fossilised, allowing scientists today to better understand it.

Its body was also made up of both bone and cartilage, unlike modern fish which have one or the other.

The large sea monster lived around 419 million to 358 million years ago before going extinct, most likely after falling prey to to changes in ocean conditions during the "Hangenberg Event," a mass extinction event that saw oxygen levels in the ocean drop.

The largest collection of Dunkleosteus fossils in the world is found at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History thanks to the large number of fossils found in the region.

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