Formation. Location: The Kimberley, NW Australia. Age: Upper Devonian, Frasnian. 350 million years.
Fig.1. 3D skull of the placoderm Mcnamaraspis
kaprios. Courtesy of Dr.J.Long.
The placoderm fish Mcnamaraspis was approximately
25 cm long and, like other placoderms, had a bony head shield
which was joined to the 'shark'-like body (Fig. 1). Placoderms
were the first jawed fish. The Mcnamaraspis skull exhibits
annular cartilage preserved in the snout, which has never been
observed in other placoderm specimens. This facilitated the entrance
of water over its olfactory organs and hence its sense of smell
was acute. This, together with the sharp teeth, probably made
the fish a highly successful predator (Fig 2).
Fig 2. Reconstruction of the placoderm Mcnamaraspis
kaprios. Courtesy of Dr.J.Long
Fig 3. Fig
Fig 3. Front view of an arthrodire placoderm fish.
Note the hard, bony teeth used for grabbing shrimp-like crustaceans.
Fig 4. Head plates of the long-snouted placoderm Fallocosteus
turnerae. Courtesy of Dr.J.Long.
Fig 5. The skull and lower jaw of a Gogo lungfish,
Griphognathus whitei. Fig 6. The 3D skull morphology of
another Gogo lungfish, Chirodipterus australis.
Fig 7. Reconstruction of the Gogo reef fauna.
Courtesy of Dr.J.Long.