Temporal range: Late Devonian
|Model of B. canadensis|
Bothriolepis lived in environments across every continent including near-shore marine and freshwater settings. Most species of Bothriolepis were small, benthic, freshwater detritivores. They got nutrients by eating decomposing plant/animal material. They were about 30 centimetres (12 in) in length. However, the largest species, B. maxima, had a carapace about 100 centimetres (39 in) in length.
Over 70 species are found across the world, but this is also typical of modern bottom dwelling species around today.