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DEVONIAN PERIOD

416-359 million years ago

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FISH

A number of rhipidistian fish are know which are closely related to amphibians.


There are a number of rhipidistians which show great similarities to the early amphibians. Although Eusthenopteron is perhaps the best known, there are some that were even closer to amphibian lineage. Panderichthyes is closer still in its skull characteristics and the solidification of its vertebrae. Elginerpeton, Ventastega, Obruchevichthyes, and Metaxygnathus, although represented by incomplete fossils, seem to be even closer to the origin of amphibians although they retain sarcopterygian features such as large teeth in the coronoid bone of the lower jaw, outside the row with the rest of the teeth. They both had tetrapod-like girdles (shoulder and hip) and Elginerpeton had tetrapod-like limb bones (and probably had toes) (Ahlberg, 1995; Carroll, 1988).