Earliest Jawed Vertebrate, Bothriolepis canadensis
Bothriolepis canadensis. Placoderm, earliest jawed vertebrate. Upper Devonian. Gaspe Bay, Canada.
* Size: 10.3 inch (26cm)
* Material: Museum quality fossil replicas are cast in durable Polyurethane resins.
* Made in USA
Most species of Bothriolepis were relatively small, benthic, freshwater detritivores, averaging around 30 centimetres (12 in) in length. However, the largest species, B. maxima, had a carapace about 100 centimetres (39 in) in length. Bothriolepis fossils are found in Middle and Late Devonian strata (387–360 million years ago). Because the fossils are found in freshwater sediments, Bothriolepis is presumed to have spent most of its life in freshwater rivers and lakes, but was probably able to enter salt water as well because its range appeared to have corresponded with the Devonian continental coastlines. Many paleontologists hypothesize that they were anadromous, that is, they lived most of their lives in saltwater, and returned to freshwater only to breed, similar to salmon. Its box-like body was enclosed in armor plates, providing protection from predators.
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