Devonian Fish

Diplacanthus striatus

This was an unexpected find but is now the highlight of my collection. The beach at Cromarty is jurassic and I was looking for pieces of that age, and found a few. I was amazed to see this fossil just lying on the beach. My enthuasiasm was not shared by the rest of the party! They had more interest in the Thermos flasks of tea and the dolphins cavorting in the Moray Firth.

One of the earliest jawed fish, and because of the multidude of spiny fins, as the image below illustrates, the group are known as 'spiny sharks'.

The preservation of specimens like this allways amazes me; even after 400 million years the pattern of the scales on the body of this fish can still be seen.

Although the species are separated by many millions of years, and the size is so different, it is surprising to find such a similarity between devonian and jurassic sharks.

Jurassic Shark Spine from British Mesozoic Fossils © The British Museum (Natural History).