Cheirolepis

Name: Cheirolepis ‭(‬Hand scale‭)‬.
Phonetic: Ky-roe-lep-is.
Named By: Louis Agassiz‭ ‬-‭ ‬1835/1843‭?
Classification: Chordata,‭ ‬Actinopterygii,‭ ‬Cheirolepiformes,‭ ‬Cheirolepidae.
Species: C.‭ ‬trailli‭ (‬type‭)‬,‭ ‬C.‭ ‬canadensis,‭ ‬C.‭ ‬curtus,‭ ‬C.‭ ‬gaugeri,‭ ‬C.‭ ‬gracilis,‭ ‬C.‭ ‬macrocephalus,‭ ‬C.‭ ‬sinualis.
Diet: Piscivore/Carnivore.
Size: About‭ ‬55‭ ‬centimetres long,‭ ‬some variation between species.
Known locations: Belarus,‭ ‬Canada,‭ ‬Germany,‭ ‬Hungary,‭ ‬Kazakstan,‭ ‬Mexico,‭ ‬Poland,‭ ‬Russia,‭ ‬Scotland and the USA.
Time period: Mid Devonian through to the Bathonian of the Jurassic.
Fossil representation: Multiple specimens of varying levels of completeness.

       There is no doubt that the Cheirolepis genus of fish were predators.‭ ‬The mouths of Cheirolepis could be opened particularly wide and were‭ ‬lined with numerous thin needle-like teeth for puncturing the bodies of other fish.‭ ‬The eyes of Cheirolepis were large and faced forwards indicating that Cheirolepis were visually orientated predators.‭ ‬The fins,‭ ‬particularly the pectorals that were on the underside of the body behind the head were well developed,‭ ‬further indicating a very active and fast swimming lifestyle.‭ ‬The wide geographic and temporal range of Cheirolepis indicates that as predators the genus were very successful.

Further reading
-‭ ‬A new cheirolepidid fish from the Middle-Upper Devonian of Red Hill,‭ ‬Nevada,‭ ‬USA.‭ ‬In:‭ ‬Arratia,‭ ‬G.,‭ ‬Wilson,‭ ‬M.‭ ‬V.‭ ‬H.‭ ‬and Cloutier,‭ ‬B.,‭ ‬eds.,‭ ‬-‭ ‬G.‭ ‬Arratia‭ & ‬R.‭ ‬Cloutier‭ ‬-‭ ‬2004.
-‭ ‬Recherches Sur Les Poissons Fossiles.‭ ‬Tome I‭ (‬livr.‭ ‬18‭) ‬-‭ ‬Louis Agassiz‭ ‬-‭ ‬1843.



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