Cowralepis Devonian Armored Fish Fossil Association

Cowralepis mclachlani

Phylum Chordata, Subphylum Vertebrata, Infraphylum Gnathostomata, Class Placodermi, Order Phyllolepida

Geological Time: Middle Devonian

Size (25.4 mm = 1 inch): Head and trunk shield: 65 mm in length and 63 mm wide with 35 mm (curve measure) attached vertebral column and a second 25 mm associated vertebral column on a 170 mm by 110 mm matrix

Fossil Site: Merriganowry Shale Member, Cowra, New South Wales, Australia

Fossil Code: AAF551

Price: Sold

Cowralepis mclachlani PlacodermDescription: A new taxon of phyllolepid placoderms was described in 2005 as a result of a study of numerous articulated specimens which were first discovered in the early 1990s in the crushed shoulder material for approach roads to the Merriaganowry bridge. The material was traced to a nearby quarry, uncovering a vast treasure of specimens of various sizes. Before thisCowralepis time, only 2 sites for articulated phyllolepids were known in Scotland and Mt Howitt, Victoria, Australia. Phyllolepids derive their name (meaning “leaf scale”) from the distinctive ridged ornamentation of the bony dermal plates. This species was named for the landowner of the quarry. The fish-bearing sequence is some 25 meters in thickness, and hundreds of bedding planes containing specimens are known, the most complete source of articulated specimens known in the world. Interestingly, this is the sole fish found in the deposit, with a few pieces of eurypterid integument and lycopod plant remains and other plant debris the only other fossils found to date. The head and trunk shield are in a fine state of preservation with the leaf-like scales and a portion of the vertebral column in evidence. Note the second vertebral column at the anterior of the specimen. Based upon the width of this column, it came from a much smaller example. It either underlays the main specimen in the opposition direction or was eaten by the larger example. Based upon the apparent coplanarity I feel the latter conclusion more likely, making this an example of what is termed an inspiration in which the smaller fish was consumed by the larger but ended up choking its predator, giving it the last laugh.

Fish Fossil Purchase

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