Palaeoniscum

name: Moythomasia time: Middle to Late Devonian locality: Australia (Western

Australia) and Europe (Germany) size: in/9 cm long The palaeoniscids evolved into a great variety of forms during the Devonian, and became the most abundant and diverse of freshwater fishes in the Late Paleozoic.

Although a contemporary of Cheirolepis (above), Moythomasia had evolved a new type of ganoid scale, unique to the early ray-finned fishes. A peg on the top edge of each scale fitted into a socket on the bottom edge of the scale above. So all the body scales articulated with each other, to form a flexible, and protective, coat of jointed armor.

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