The Burpee Museum of Natural History in Rockford, Illinois currently has an exhibit called Savage Ancient Seas which will be at the museum through September 7th, 2015. Information about the traveling exhibit is available at the Burpee website. I was able to go and check it out (as well as everything else the museum has to offer). If you’re in the area and looking for something to do, a museum is always a good option 🙂
The regular exhibits at the museum are worthwhile. Many pertain to the same subject manner as the Savage Ancient Seas exhibit and it’s great to see it all tie together so nicely. Learning about not only these animals but the history of their discovery is pretty dang neat.
The Dunkleosteus lived during the Late Devonian. This guy is what’s known as a placoderm, meaning about 30-50% of his body was covered in tough plates that protected him. At around 6m long and definitely a predator, it’s tough to imagine this badass of the sea needing any kind of protection. (King, 2007)
Of course giant ancient fish aren’t the only regular attractions at the museum. As a reminder of why humans live now and not long ago, this friendly face is another must-see.
Here’s yet another example of why living in the good ol’ Quaternary is best for us little, puny Homo sapiens.
Of course, you can’t always see the doom and gloom in things. Sure, there were lots of big ancient predators way back when. But those ancient marine predators left cool fossils for us to find and study to learn all about them. It’s a pretty awesome deal. So if you get the chance, you know what museum you have to check out…
I don’t make it a practice to sell photos from museums or other locations that charge some sort of entry. So these photos won’t ever be available for sale. Since that’s the case, I’d love it if you used them for education purposes (with credit to both myself and the museum). No commercial use though, please. And be sure to support your local museums!
King, M. G. (2007). Fisheries biology: Assessment and management (2nd ed.). Oxford, UK: Fishing News Books.