Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Subphylum: Vertebrata

Class: Placodermi

Order: Antiarchi

Family: Bothriolepididae

Genus: Bothriolepis


This is a bottom feeding armored fish lived in brackish water and seas, in the middle of the Late Devonian period, about 370 million years ago. Bothriolepis canadensis is belongs to a diverse genus of antiarch placoderms. Historically, Bothriolepis resided in an array of paleo-environments spread across every paleocontinent, including near shore marine and freshwater settings. Bothriolepis had a blunt head and wide body covered with plates that measured about 10 inches (25cm) in length. The tail and posterior part of the trunk had no armor. The overall size of the living fish would have been about 24 inches (60cm). With two pockets, which served as lungs, if stranded on land it could breath air until it again found water.  Most species of Bothriolepis were characterized as relatively small, benthic, freshwater detritivores, which obtain nutrients by consuming decomposing plant and animal material. As one of the earliest known Placoderms, Bothriolepis represents a very important link to understanding the evolutionary journey of fish. It has been found in every continent except Africa and South America.