Lanarkia Thelodont Fossil Fish from Scotland

Lanarkia horrida Thelodont

Phylum Chordata, Subphylum Vertebrata, Superclass Agnatha, Group Thelodonti (Thelodontiformes)

Geological Time: Upper Silurian

Size: 45 mm in length

Fossil Site: Seggholm, Muikirk, Ayrshire, Scotland

Thelodont Fossil Fish LanarkiaThe Thelodontia are a group of fishes most commonly known from their distinctive tooth-like scales. Indeed the term Thelodont, derived from Greek, means nipple tooth. The teeth have a characteristic crown made of dentine. The scales even on a single specimen are quite variable. Thelodonts are rarely found as complete specimens; those that are show them to be flattened fish, many of which were bottom dwellers. Recent finds of intact specimens from Canada show that thellodonts evolved into some deep-bodied forms that swam freely in the water column. These deep-bodied forms may have been more closely allied with jawed fishes than their other relatives. All Thelodonts were extinct by the Upper Devonian. This high-quality specimen exhibits the distinctive, chracteristic scales.

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