Parayunnanolepis and Psarolepis by *Gogosardina

Sometime, in the Devonian, on the floors of shallow, green seas, the fish looked like stones. They live their lives encased in tight-fitting armor. Bodies locked in cuirass, plackart, and pauldron. Arms: gauntlets. Just a keyhole in the helmet for peeking eyes. Life was lived hidden in an envelope of bone; and the world was only touched through chinks in the walls built against one’s own flesh.


Illustrations and comments by Brian Choo.

Materpiscis attenboroughi birthing

A birthing mother placoderm strains to expel her young. Materpiscis attenboroughi (Sir David Attenborough’s mother fish) (…) fossil remains preserve an unborn embryo along with a mineralised umbilical cord. This represents the oldest evidence for live birth among the vertebrates. Full comment

Parayunnanolepis and Psarolepis

Parayunnanolepis xitunensis is an extremely important fossil taxon as it represents the only primitive (non-euantiarch) antiarch known from a complete articulated specimen down the the tip of the tail. In short, despite initial descriptions to the contrary, this fish had pelvic fins!. Full comment


(…) the proportions and scale count in this picture are however (hopefully) accurate as they are based on first hand observation of the unpublished postcranium. I was there in 2005 when Professor Tim Senden of ANU found the first complete Gogonasus in Paddys Valley. Full comment

Shuyu zhejiangensis

(…) these fishes have the condition that current developmental models regard as prerequisites for the development of jaws - even though they didn’t have jaws. Full comment