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May 6, 2012
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Giant crocodile-mahi and mammal-shark by JWArtwork Giant crocodile-mahi and mammal-shark by JWArtwork
Here we see Crocodylophaena gigantea with it's favorite prey, Mammalacanthus macrodon. From their origins in the Devonian, sharks have been predator and prey at the same time. In the future this will not differ...

Some 132 million years in the future (Palalom), these creatures live off the coast of South-Africa (although the mammal-shark has a bigger distribution), in the shallow waters of the mollusc-beds. The big fish is Crocodylophaena, a descendant of the dolphin fish, also known as mahi-mahi [link]§ion=&global=1&q=mahi+mahi#/d3e79la with crocodile-like jaws, hence the name. It is a powerful predator and slighly resembles today's marlins, but is not that fast, though. It's a member of the Neophaeonoidea superfamily, a group that knows great variety [link] .

Its favorite prey is the mammal-shark or mammalacanth. It is a shark with whiskers, hence the name. But these whiskers are different from those of mammals, though. They are extremely sensitive organs that can sense the finest electric signals that other fish make with their bodies. The mammal-shark hunts bottom-dwelling fish, which are camouflaged and thus it needs its whiskers to sense them.

For a shark the mammalacanth has relatively large teeth and its first fin on the back is greatly enlarged, to impress potential predators or rivals. Neither of those things has had any big effect though, as that won't impress any Crocodylophaena. The sheer size of the latter (4-8 meters! :omfg:) is a huge advantage over the rather small mammal-shark (1-2.5 meters). Here we're seeing the largest possible size for a mammal-shark (2.5 meters), compared to a rather small Crocodylophaena (5.5 meters). Now imagine an 8-meter Crocodylophaena meeting a 1-meter mammal-shark! ;p

Another predator of mammal-sharks that hunts them when they lie in shallow ponds of water at the rock fields near the beach is the sail-backed monitor lizard: [link] . It can only tackle the smaller sharks, though.

P.S. If you like this, become a member (request is automatically approved) of the Neozoic-Project-group, to see more of this appear in the future, or even design your own Neozoic creatures and submit to the group! :) [link]
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:iconelectreel:
electreel Featured By Owner May 6, 2012
I might say that the concept of highly sensitive whiskers on sharks is pretty damn interesting =) I wonder how could sharks evolve such structure... maybe the "whiskers" are very thin derivatives of barbels, who knows.
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:iconjwartwork:
JWArtwork Featured By Owner May 6, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
You think so? :D Well, I imagined them to have grown in a similar way to the barbels of the catfish, although I don't know what the catfish use it for, though. ;p
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:iconpalaeorigamipete:
palaeorigamipete Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I guess catfish use them as feelers for touch =D
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:iconjwartwork:
JWArtwork Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Ah, thanks! :)
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:iconpalaeorigamipete:
palaeorigamipete Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
no problem. =)
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:iconjwartwork:
JWArtwork Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
:)
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:iconpalaeorigamipete:
palaeorigamipete Featured By Owner May 6, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
wow this is amazing! =)
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:iconjwartwork:
JWArtwork Featured By Owner May 6, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks a lot! I'm glad you like it! :bow:
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:iconpalaeorigamipete:
palaeorigamipete Featured By Owner May 6, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I sure do!
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:iconjwartwork:
JWArtwork Featured By Owner May 7, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks again! :D
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