Panderichthys was a fish that lived during the Devonian period, about 380 million years ago.
Fossils of the animal
were found in Latvia.
Panderichthys was about 35 to 51 inches (90 to 130 centimeters) long. It is quite interesting
as it believed that fish like Panderichthys were the ancestors of tetrapods (vertebrates with
a four-limbed body plan which eventually moved to the land), as Panderichthys exhibits transitional
features between those of lobe-finned fishes and tetrapods. These transitional fishes include fins
with finger-like bones (but no elbows) intermediate between typical fish fins and tetrapod legs,
and a vertical tube at the top of its head ("spiracle") which the fish would have used
to breathe from water when submerged in mud, which is the evolutionary precursor of the stirrup bone (e.g. the stirrup
bone found in the human ear).
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