Osteolepis macrolepidotus Devonian Fish

From Famous Cruaday Quarry Sandwick Fish Beds of Scotland

Osteolepis macrolepidotus

Class Sarcopterygi, Infraclass Tetrapodomorpha, Superorder Osteolepidida, Order Osteolepiformes, Family Osteolepidae

Geological Time: Middle Devonian (385 Million Years Old)

Size (25.4 mm = 1 inch): Fossil fish is 151 mm in length (tip of nose to tip of tail along backbone) on 145 mm by 120 mm matrix

Fossil Site: Sandwick Fish Beds, Cruaday Quarry, Orkney, Scotland

Osteolepis macrolepidotusDescription: The Osteolepiform fish are thought to be the ancestors of the Tetrapoda due to their paired lobed fins being homologous to the limbs, and the choanae (posterior nostril). Osteolepis possessed two rounded dorsal fins placed posteriorly, and a heterocercal tail Osteolepis Fossil Artwith a larger lower lobe. They have thick rhombic scales covered with a cosmine layer (hence the shine). This ancient group of fish are thought to have given rise to the Tetrapod bauplan. This fish fossil example is preserved in dorsolateral aspect and shows all the classic the features with incredible detail. Note too the very fine finnage that has been preserved. This one was professionally prepared in the United Kingdom and was collected in the 1980s. With the Cruaday Quarry no longer in operation, and declared a Site of Special Scientific Interest there will be little forthcoming in the future.

Also see: Paleozoic Fish Fossils


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