(synonymous with Sarcopterygii), Subclass Tetrapodomorpha, Order
Osteolepiformes, Family Tristichopteridae
Time: Middle Devonian, Givetian Stage (~385 million years ago)
mm = 1 inch): Fossil fish is 160 mm in length (tip of nose to tip of
tail along backbone) on a 240 mm by 130 mm matrix
Mey Beds, Harrabrough Head, Orkney, Scotland
Related to one of the most widely-recognized of all the ancient
lobe-finned fishes (Eusthenopteron), this is Tristicopterus.
Eusthenopteron is possibly the most recognized Paleozoic vertebrate, and
both are members of the family Tristichopteridae. For comparison
purposes I have included a life restoration of Eusthenopteron.
Early reconstructions portrayed it as crawling from the water,
something we know today was not the case. Nevertheless,
it is close to the line from which the tetrapods arose, and it
several characteristics with them such as the skull bones and
bones corresponding to those of the forelimbs. This specimen
is the first I am aware of being offered, and is an exceptionally
fine example, possessing one of the finest skulls I have seen.
There is one repaired crack. Preparation of this specimen was
done by one of the UK’s premier artisans. I have included
a pair of as found photos so you can see where the repair and
final prep work was done. The only restoration is to the seam
where the crack was repaired.
See my other offerings for an example of another member of the