Named By: Zerina Johanson & Per E. Ahlberg. 1998.
Classification: Chordata, Sarcopterygii, Rhizodontida, Rhizodontidae.
Species: G. loomesi (type).
Size: About 90 centimetres long.
Known locations: Australia, New South Wales.
Time period: Famennian of the Devonian.
Fossil representation: At least one skull.
was a member of the Rhizodontida lone-finned fishes, and is noted as
being one of the most primitive members of the group. Some
rhizodontid fish are known to have grown up to and beyond lengths of
six meters, though at just under one meter, Gooloogongia
a bit smaller than these. Gooloogongia is also
noted for having two
rows of teeth, larger fangs in the inner row, and smaller versions
of these in the outer row. These teeth would have been best used to
trap softer bodied fish or the softer parts of placoderm fish, though
they would have been of little use against the thick plates of the more
heavily armoured placoderms.
Gooloogongia was named after the town of Gooloogong which is near to the site of the first discovery. The type species is named in honour of Bruce Loomes. Gooloogongia has been considered to have been similar to the modern day genus Scleropages leichardti, better known as the saratoga, in terms of ecological niche.
- A complete primitive rhizodont from Australia - Zerina Johanson & Per E. Ahlberg. 1998.