Buried treasures from the age of fishes: Imagine a world ruled by fish!


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Buried treasures from the age of fishes: Imagine a world ruled by fish!

The Canowindra fish fossil discoveries in rural New South Wales is one of the world’s greatest fossil sites. 

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About 360 million years ago during the Devonian geological period, most life on Earth existed in the water. On land at that time, you would have found primitive plants and insects, as well as spiders, mites, centipedes and millipedes, but the first tetrapods (four-legged animals) – the ancestors of all amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals – had only just started their evolutionary journey, including the crucial move from water to land. In the oceans, lakes and rivers, on the other hand, life was abundant and diverse. Fish dominated these environments, including the familiar ones (lobe-finned and ray-finned fishes, and sharks) and the very unfamiliar and long extinct placoderms. This was ‘The Age of Fishes!’

AAOD Journal Issue 4 (2006) – pages 33 to 45 
By Dr Alex Ritchie and Dr Zerina Johanson 

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