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order of fishes (fossil)

Pteraspids were early agnathan vertebrates. They lived from later Silurian to the end of the Devonian. Fossils are found in Canada, Europe and North America.

Temporal range:
late Silurian to end Devonian
Larnovaspis stensioei.jpg
Artist's restoration of Pteraspis
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Superclass: Anapsida
Class: Heterostraci
Order: Pteraspidiformes
Type genus

The whole group has the head and front of the body armoured. Delicate, finger-like parts of the plates were at the edges of the mouth. This suggests they were filter feeders taking plankton from the water column.[1].


  1. Purnell, Mark A. 2002. Feeding in extinct jawless heterostracan fishes and testing scenarios of early vertebrate evolution. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B: Biological Sciences. 269 (1486) 83-88.[1]