Female Devonian Antiarch Placoderm Microbrachius

Microbrachius dicki

Placodermi, Antiarchiformes. Asterolepididae

Geological Time: Middle Devonian

Size (25.4 mm = 1 inch): Fossil is 20 mm in length by 27 mm across on 50 mm by 70 mm matrix

Fossil Site: Eday Flagstones, Caithness, Orkney, Scotland

Code: UKF268

Price: $595.00

Description: This is a diminutive Antiach known as Microbrachius dicki. The Antiarchs were most likely bottom dwellers whose ventral mouth was well-positioned for feeding on benthic organisms. This taxon is believed to be the first to have abandoned the process of casting eggs and milt into the water for internal fertilization some 385 million years ago. They are believed to have used the roughened pectoral fins to grip each other while the genital plates of the female“ docked” with the L-shaped claspers of the male to allow the transfer of sperm. I include a photo (above) of a male along side the female so you can see the differences. See my other offerings for an example of a rarely-seen Microbrachius dicki male.

Reference: Nature 517,08 Jan 2015, pp 196-199

Also see: Paleozoic Fish Fossils

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