Temporal range: Late Devonian
Johanson & Ahlberg, 1997
Mandageria fairfaxi (Pronunciation: Man-daj-ee-ree-a fair-fax-i) is an extinct lobe-finned fishthat lived during the Late Devonian period (Frasnian – Famennian). It is related to the much larger Hyneria ; although Mandageria was smaller, it probably hunted in the same way.
The Frasnian is one of two faunal stages in the Late Devonian period. It lasted from 382.7 million years ago to 372.2 million years ago. It was preceded by the Givetian stage and followed by the Famennian stage.
The Famennian is the latter of two faunal stages in the Late Devonian epoch. It lasted from 372.2 million years ago to 358.9 million years ago. It was preceded by the Frasnian stage and followed by the Tournaisian stage.
Hyneria is a genus of large prehistoric predatory lobe-finned fish that lived during the Devonian period around 360 million years ago.
The generic epithet, Mandageria, refers to the Mandagery Sandstone formation near Canowindra, Australia, where the fossils were found. The specific epithet, fairfaxi, honors the philanthropist James Fairfax. M. fairfaxi is the state fossil emblem for New South Wales.
Canowindra is a historic township located between Orange and Cowra in the central west of New South Wales, Australia, in Cabonne Shire. Canowindra is situated on the Belubula River. The curving main street, Gaskill Street, is partly an urban conservation area. At the 2016 census, Canowindra and the surrounding area had a population of 2,258. The name of the town is derived from an Aboriginal language (Wiradjuri) word meaning 'a home' or 'camping place'
Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania and numerous smaller islands. It is the largest country in Oceania and the world's sixth-largest country by total area. The neighbouring countries are Papua New Guinea, Indonesia and East Timor to the north; the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu to the north-east; and New Zealand to the south-east. The population of 25 million is highly urbanised and heavily concentrated on the eastern seaboard. Australia's capital is Canberra, and its largest city is Sydney. The country's other major metropolitan areas are Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide.
New South Wales is a state on the east coast of Australia. It borders Queensland to the north, Victoria to the south, and South Australia to the west. Its coast borders the Tasman Sea to the east. The Australian Capital Territory is an enclave within the state. New South Wales' state capital is Sydney, which is also Australia's most populous city. In September 2018, the population of New South Wales was over 8 million, making it Australia's most populous state. Just under two-thirds of the state's population, 5.1 million, live in the Greater Sydney area. Inhabitants of New South Wales are referred to as New South Welshmen.
Mandageria was a large predator about 1.5 to 2 m (4.9 to 6.6 ft) long. It had a long torpedo-shaped body and large tail fins. Mandageria also had large pectoral fins which could have helped it manoeuvre around submerged logs when preparing to attack its prey. Mandageria had a functional neck joint, an otherwise uncommon feature among fish - Tiktaalik , Tarrasius , placoderms (esp. Arthrodira) and seahorses being other exceptions.
A modern torpedo is a self-propelled weapon with an explosive warhead, launched above or below the water surface, propelled underwater towards a target, and designed to detonate either on contact with its target or in proximity to it.
Tiktaalik is a monospecific genus of extinct sarcopterygian from the Late Devonian Period, about 375 Ma, having many features akin to those of tetrapods.
Arthrodira is an order of extinct armoured, jawed fishes of the class Placodermi that flourished in the Devonian period before their sudden extinction, surviving for about 50 million years and penetrating most marine ecological niches.
Osteichthyes, popularly referred to as the bony fish, is a diverse taxonomic group of fish that have skeletons primarily composed of bone tissue, as opposed to cartilage. The vast majority of fish are members of Osteichthyes, which is an extremely diverse and abundant group consisting of 45 orders, and over 435 families and 28,000 species. It is the largest class of vertebrates in existence today. The group Osteichthyes is divided into the ray-finned fish (Actinopterygii) and lobe-finned fish (Sarcopterygii). The oldest known fossils of bony fish are about 420 million years old, which are also transitional fossils, showing a tooth pattern that is in between the tooth rows of sharks and bony fishes.
The coelacanths constitute a now-rare order of fish that includes two extant species in the genus Latimeria: the West Indian Ocean coelacanth primarily found near the Comoro Islands off the east coast of Africa and the Indonesian coelacanth. They follow the oldest-known living lineage of Sarcopterygii, which means they are more closely related to lungfish and tetrapods than to ray-finned fishes. They are found along the coastlines of the Indian Ocean and Indonesia. The West Indian Ocean coelacanth is a critically endangered species.
The subclass Holocephali is a taxon of cartilaginous fish in the class Chondrichthyes. The earliest fossils are of teeth and come from the Devonian period. Little is known about these primitive forms, and the only surviving group in the subclass is the order Chimaeriformes. This group includes the rat fishes in the genus Chimaera, and the elephant fishes in the genus Callorhynchus. These fishes move by using sweeping movements of their large pectoral fins. They have long slender tails and live close to the seabed feeding on benthic invertebrates. They lack a stomach, food moving directly into the intestine.
Panderichthys is a genus of extinct sarcopterygian from the late Devonian period, about 380 Mya. Panderichthys, which was recovered from Frasnian deposits in Latvia, is represented by two species. P. stolbovi is known only from some snout fragments and an incomplete lower jaw. P. rhombolepis is known from several more complete specimens. Although it probably belongs to a sister group of the earliest tetrapods, Panderichthys exhibits a range of features transitional between tristichopterid lobe-fin fishes and early tetrapods. It is named after the German-Baltic paleontologist Christian Heinrich Pander. A recent study uncovered tetrapod tracks dating back to before the appearance of Panderichthys in the fossil record, which suggests that Panderichthys is not a transitional fossil, but nonetheless shows the traits that evolved during the fish-tetrapod evolution
The choana, posterior nasal aperture or internal nostril is one of two openings found at the back of the nasal passage between the nasal cavity and the throat in tetrapods with secondary palates, including humans and other mammals.
Bothriolepis is a widespread, abundant and diverse genus of antiarch placoderms that lived during the Middle to Late Devonian period of the Paleozoic Era. Historically, Bothriolepis resided in an array of paleo-environments spread across every paleocontinent, including near shore marine and freshwater settings. Most species of Bothriolepis were characterized as 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. Although expansive with over 60 species found worldwide, comparatively Bothriolepis is not unusually more diverse than most modern bottom dwelling species around today.
Holoptychius is an extinct genus of porolepiform lobe-finned fish from the Middle Devonian to Carboniferous (Mississippian) periods. It is known from fossils worldwide. The genus was first described by Louis Agassiz in 1839.
The weasel sharks are a family, the Hemigaleidae, of ground sharks found from the eastern Atlantic Ocean to the continental Indo-Pacific. They are found in shallow coastal waters to a depth of 100 m (330 ft).
The longnose pygmy shark is a rare species of squaliform shark in the family Dalatiidae and the only member its genus. It is known only from a handful of specimens collected from the cold oceanic waters of the Southern Hemisphere, between the surface and a depth of 502 m (1,647 ft). Reaching 37 cm (15 in) in length, this diminutive shark is characterized by a slender, dark brown body with a very long, bulbous snout. In addition, it has two spineless dorsal fins of nearly equal size, with the origin of the first lying over the pectoral fin bases. The longnose pygmy shark does not appear substantially threatened by fisheries, and has been assessed as Least Concern by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
Gogonasus was a lobe-finned fish known from 3-dimensionally preserved 380 million-year-old fossils found from the Gogo Formation in Western Australia. It lived in the late Devonian period, on what was once a 1400 kilometre coral reef off the Kimberley coast surrounding the north-west of Australia. Gogonasus was a small fish reaching 30–40 cm (1 ft) in length.
Psarolepis is a genus of extinct lobe-finned fish which lived around 397 to 418 million years ago. Fossils of Psarolepis have been found mainly in South China and described by paleontologist Xiaobo Yu in 1998. It is not known certainly in which group Psarolepis belongs, but paleontologists agree that it probably is a basal genus and seems to be close to the common ancestor of lobe-finned and ray-finned fishes. In 2001, paleontologist John A. Long compared Psarolepis with Onychodontiform fishes and refer to their relationships.
Gooloogongia is a genus of prehistoric lobe-finned fish which belonged to the group of Rhizodont fishes. Gooloogongia lived during the Late Devonian period. Fossils have been found in the Canowindra site, (Australia). It was named by Dr. Zerina Johanson and Dr. Per Ahlberg in 1998. In general size and shape Gooloogongia is similar to the modern saratoga which lives in the tropical rivers of northern Australia.
Onychodus is a genus of prehistoric lobe-finned fish which lived during the Devonian period. It is one of the best known of the group of onychodontiform fishes. Scattered fossil bones of Onychodus were first discovered in 1857, in North America, and described by John Strong Newberry. Other species were found in Australia, England, Norway and Germany showing that it had a widespread range.
Qingmenodus is a genus of prehistoric lobe-finned fish. Fossils of Qingmenodus were found in China and date back to the Early Devonian period. Qingmenodus reveals the first well-ossified otoccipital braincase in onychodonts. Palaeontologists believe that Qingmenodus was one of the oldest onychodont fish.
The Age of Fishes Museum is one of only two fish fossil museums in the world and is a National Heritage site due to its international scientific significance. Located in Canowindra, New South Wales, Australia, it was established in 1998. The Museum was designed by Australian architect, John Andrews. The museum houses a huge collection of Devonian fish fossils found in the Canowindra area.
The evolution of fish began about 530 million years ago during the Cambrian explosion. It was during this time that the early chordates developed the skull and the vertebral column, leading to the first craniates and vertebrates. The first fish lineages belong to the Agnatha, or jawless fish. Early examples include Haikouichthys. During the late Cambrian, eel-like jawless fish called the conodonts, and small mostly armoured fish known as ostracoderms, first appeared. Most jawless fish are now extinct; but the extant lampreys may approximate ancient pre-jawed fish. Lampreys belong to the Cyclostomata, which includes the extant hagfish, and this group may have split early on from other agnathans.
Edenopteron is a genus of large tristichopterid fish from the Late Devonian (Famennian) of what is now southeastern Australia. It is known from a single specimen of a single species, E. keithcrooki, described in 2013.
Innovations conventionally associated with terrestrially first appeared in aquatic elpistostegalians such as Panderichthys rhombolepis, Elpistostege watsoni, and Tiktaalik roseae. Phylogenetic analyses distribute the features that developed along the tetrapod stem and display a stepwise process of character acquisition, rather than abrupt. The complete transition occurred over a period of 25 million years beginning with the tetrapodomorph diversification in the Middle Devonian.
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