Placodermi Armoured Fossil Fish Bothriolepis canadensis

Bothriolepis canadensis

Infraphylum Gnathostomata, Class Placodermi, Order Antiarcha, Family Bothriolepidae

Geologic Time: Upper Devonian

Size: 108 mm in length

Fossil Site: Escumiac Bay, Miguasha, Quebec, Canada

Bothriolepis canadensis PlacodermBothriolepis is one of the most widely-recognized of all the ancient Armoured fishes. The box-like body was enclosed in armor plates, and provided Armoured Fossil Fishprotection from predators. Bothriolepis was the most successful of all the placoderms, with some 100 species known from every continent, including Antarctica. The paired holes housed both the eyes and the nostrils. Some specimens have been sectioned to show the paired lung-like organs and spiral intestine, giving a detailed view of this interesting fish. It had a long pair of pectoral fins which would have helped to lift it from the bottom; its heavy body would have sunk quickly back to the bottom as soon as forward momentum was lost. The Armoured Fossil Fishfins possessed spines (see the closeup), and an articulation to the boxlike trunk. It is thought that Bothriolepis grubbed in the mud of its freshwater home, and may also have used its pectorals to stir up the mud that provided its food. This is a well preserved example of the trunk, the only part preserved with any degree of frequency, and shows the pectorals as well


Virtual Fossil Museum Also see: Class Placodermi