Devonian Fossils

Paleobiology

 

Fossils of the Devonian Period
419 - 359 million years ago
Paleozoic Era

Also see: Paleozoic Paleobiology



Devonian Life

Devonian marine lifeThe Devonian period brought significant diversification of terrestrial life, including the first vertebrates, the amphibians, and the first forests of trees appeared; this completed a land colonization process that likely started in the late Cambrian. So too did marine life increase in diversity and complexity. In fact, the Devonian is sometimes called the "Age of Fishes". The lobe-finned fishes (Sarcopterygii) and ray-finned fish (Actinopterygii) appear. Among the Sarcopterygii, the first fish evolved legs toDevonian Forest walk on land as tetrapods some 365 million years ago. Class Chondrichthyes fishes (sharks, rays and skates) become more common, larger, and fiercer. The Placoderm armoured fishes enjoyed their greatest diversity in the Devonian, only to mysterious disappear at the end of the period. Among invertebrates, the ammonite mollusks appeared, and crinoids, coral, and brachiopods remained common and thriving. The first seed-bearing plants spread across dry land, ultimately forming huge forests. Early Devonian plants lacked roots and leaves and mostly lacked vascular tissue, and where tiny. They probably spread largely by vegetative growth, and did not grow much more than a few centimeters tall. However, by the late Devonian, primitive plants such as the lycophytes, sphenophytes, ferns, and progymnosperms had formed widespread forests. The Late Devonian extinction severely affected marine life, particularly brachiopods, trilobites, ammonites, conodonts, and acritarchs, jawless fish, and placoderms.

Devonian Fossils

Bothriolepis canadensis
Osteolepis macrolepidotus
Palaeospondylus gunni
Osteolepis macrolepidotus
Tetrapod Ancestor
Class Sarcopterygii
Orkney, Scotland
Palaeospondylus gunni
Enigmatic Chondrichthyes Fish
Caithness, Scotland
Codiacrinus schultzei Crinoid
Metacanthina issoumourensis Phacopid Trilobite
Greenops
Dunkleosteus
Greenops boothi
Trilobite Order Phacopida Family Asteropyginae
Widder Shale, Ontario, Canada
Dipterus Lungfish Fossil
Coltraenia oufatenensis Morocco trilobite
Coral Fossils
     
Favosites turbinatus Coral Fossils
Class Anthozoa
Alpena, Michigan