Osteolepis


Osteolepis
Osteolepis
Temporal range: Middle Devonian
Osteolepis macrolepidotus fossil at the Museum für Naturkunde, Berlin
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Class: Sarcopterygii
Infraclass: Tetrapodomorpha
Superorder: Osteolepidida
Order: Osteolepiformes
Family: Osteolepidae
Genus: Osteolepis

Osteolepis ('bone scale') is an extinct genus of lobe-finned fish from the Devonian period. It lived in the Orcadian Lakes of northern Scotland.

Restoration

Osteolepis was about 20 centimetres (7.9 in) long, and covered with large, square scales. The scales and plates on its head were covered in a thin layer of spongy, bony material called cosmine. This layer contained canals which were connected to sensory cells deeper in the skin. These canals ended in pores on the surface, and were probably for sensing vibrations in the water.[1]

Osteolepis was a rhipidistian, having a number of features in common with the tetrapods (land-dwelling vertebrates and their descendants), and was probably close to the base of the tetrapod family tree.

References

  1. ^ Palmer, D., ed (1999). The Marshall Illustrated Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Animals. London: Marshall Editions. p. 43. ISBN 1-84028-152-9.