Mr lots of writing to do but never enuf time. (entheo) wrote,

And now for the Palaeozoic Fish Plushies from Japan

And now for the fish (and yay for wikipedia for the comments I add to each creature), I was going to do the amphibians and reptiles as well, but time is running away. I haven't bought as many of these guys as I have of the invertebrates as the invertebrates was what I was specialising at uni (ok, technically it was more general Palaeonotology & Palaeoecology, while I lectured in Paleobiology)

Pikaia - a Middle Cambrian cephalochordata (pre-fish), possibly the oldest known ancestor of modern vertebrates, because it seemed to have a very primitive, proto-notochord, although it also has tentacles.

Myllokunmingia fengjiaoa - a Cambrian craniate (pre-fish/early fish) and is from 524 million years ago.

Haikouichthys - a Cambrian craniate (pre fish/early fish) from about 530 million years ago and belived to be one of the earliest fish, and in the BBC's Walking with Monsters it is considered the ancestor to all vertebrates,

Arandaspis prionotolepis - an Ordovician jawless fish and the oldest known vertebrate, as it is from 480 to 470 million years ago and found in the rocks from Alice Springs.

Thelodus - a Silurian jawless fish that probably fed on the ocean floor

Hemicyclaspis - a Devonian jawless fish with a heavily armored, shovel-shaped headshield.

Pteraspis stensioei - a Devonian jawless fish from Europe with armored plating covering the front of its body and a long beak that helped streamline it.

Cephalaspis - a Devonian freshwater jawless fish with heavily armor that featured in Walking with Monsters, as being hunted by the giant marine scorpion, Brontoscorpio.

Doryaspis nathorsti - a Devonian jawless fish with a long rod-shaped pseudorostrum extending from the lower mouth plates (that would correspond to the lower lip or chin in gnathostomes) . Since my plushie has serrated branchial plates and pseudorostrum, it is D. nathorsti

Panderichthys - a Devonian lobe-finned fish that is an ancestor of Tiktaalik. It exhibits transitional features between lobe-finned fishes and early tetrapods and is considered the most crownward stem fish-tetrapod with paired fins.

Dipnorhynchus - a Devonian lungfish which appeared in the film Ponyo. I had to go and buy this because during my honours I discovered a new species of primative lungfish, Ichnomylax, which made it into John Long's book, The Rise of Fishes: 500 Million Years of Evolution

Phyllolepis - a Devonian freshwater placoderm , believed to be a blind, bottom-dwelling predator that detected prey through sensory organs in the surface grooves of their armor plate

Bothriolepis - the most commonly found Devonian freshwater placoderm with a box-like body was enclosed in armor plates, it lived from 387 to 360 million years ago

Dunkleosteus - a Upper Devonian giant placoderm that grew up to up to 10 m long, is presumed to weigh 3.6 tonnes and it was heavily armoured. It featured in the BBC series Sea Monsters

Edestus - the Scissor Tooth shark is an Upper Carboniferous shark, and Im presuming the plushie is of a Edestus giganteus, which grew to the size of great white shark.

Echinochimaera meltoni - a Lower Carboniferous chimaera fish that is found in Montana.

Belantsea montana - a Lower Carboniferous cartilaginous fish that is found in Montana. It seems the person designing these plushies likes the fish from the Bear Gulch Limestone n Montana.

And now onto what are called living fossils

Western Indian Ocean Coelacanth, known as "old fourlegs" - the famous lobe-finned fish that was discovered in 1938, the (almost) last suvivor of a group of fish that was believed to have died out 65 million years ago. They are closely related to the lungfishes and tetrapods, and are considered the "missing link" between the fish and the tetrapods. They grow up to 2m long and have a bluish colouration

Indonesian Coelacanth - the even more recently (1997) discovered relative, with a skin colour that is brownish-gray rather than bluish (which is why I think this plushie, which is darker, is the Indonesian Coelacanth, although I could be wrong and it is the other way around. Only a few speciemns have been studied, and they seem to be smaller than the Western Indian Ocean Coelacanth

West African lungfish? & Slender African lungfish? - two lungfishes here that both resemble the African lungfish, of which there are four species, and Im guessing which species they are. Lungfish are the transition animal between water breathing and air breathing as their environment has either periodically times of low oxygen in the water or the river they live in dries up. Now I want them to bring out an Australian lungfish!

Next time, the amphibians and reptiles for sure!
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