4" Devonian Lobed-Fin Fish (Osteolepis) - Scotland

This is a 4" long specimen of the Early Devonian, "Lobed-Fin" fish, Osteolepis panderi. It was collected from the Sandwick Fish Beds in the Old Red Sandstone near Orkney, Scotland.

Osteolepis ('bone scale') is an extinct genus of lobe-finned fish from the Devonian period. It lived in the Lake Orcadie of northern Scotland. Osteolepis averaged about 20 cm (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.

Artists reconstruction of Osteolepis. Creative Commons, by Nobu Tamura (http://spinops.blogspot.com)
Artists reconstruction of Osteolepis. Creative Commons, by Nobu Tamura (http://spinops.blogspot.com)


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.
DETAILS
SPECIES
Osteolepis panderi
LOCATION
Orkney, Scotland
FORMATION
Old Red Sandstone
SIZE
4" long
CATEGORY
SUB CATEGORY
ITEM
#25767
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