Unusual Pterichthyodes cornutus Devonian Placoderm

from Historic Collector

Pterichthyodes cornutus

Placodermi, Antiarcha

Geological Time: Middle Devonian (385 Million Years Old)

Size (25.4 mm = 1 inch): Fish fossil is 53 mm in length by 46 mm across on an 80 mm by 65 mm matrix

Fossil Site: Lethen Bar Site, Middle Old Red Sandstone, Scotland

Code: UKF134

Price: Sold

Pterichthyodes cornutusDescription: This unusual fish is known as Pterichthyodes, a name which means “wing- fish” a reference to the dramatic pectoral appendages (missing here) The box-like body was enclosed in armor plates, and provided protection from predators., while the tail itself was unprotected. They are thought to have been bottom dwellers, and may have used their pectorals to “row” along the bottom. What makes this one even more unusual is that it comes from the Damon Collection. Robert Damon (1814-1889) and his son Robert Francis (1845-1929) were commercial collectors during the Victorian Era who supplied museums throughout North and South America, Europe, and Australia with geological specimens. This one was acquired upon the death of R.F. Damon. His label can be clearly seen. Note too the price: 5/6 or 5 shillings and six pence, quite a steep price for its time. The Lethen Bar site was famous for its ichtyolite specimens, but has subsequently been lost to science. This is the only such specimen I have to offer.

Also see: Paleozoic Fish Fossils

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