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Ostracodermi
Ostracoderms () are the armored jawless fish of the Paleozoic Era. The term does not often appear in classifications today because it is paraphyletic (excluding jawed fishes) (may also be polyphyletic if anaspids are closer to cyclostomes) and thus does not correspond to one evolutionary lineage. However, the term is still used as an informal way of loosely grouping together the armored jawless fishes. An innovation of ostracoderms was the use of gills not for feeding, but exclusively for respiration. Earlier chordates with gill precursors used them for both respiration and feeding. Ostracoderms had separate pharyngeal gill pouches along the side of the head, which were permanently open with no protective operculum. Unlike invertebrates that use ciliated motion to move food, ostracoderms used their muscular pharynx to create a suction that pulled small and slow moving prey into their mouths. Swiss anatomist Louis Agassiz received some fossils of bony armored fish from Scotland ...
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Osteostraci Janvier
The class Osteostraci (meaning "bony shells") is an extinct taxon of bony-armored jawless fish, termed "ostracoderms", that lived in what is now North America, Europe and Russia from the Middle Silurian to Late Devonian. Anatomically speaking, the osteostracans, especially the Devonian species, were among the most advanced of all known agnathans. This is due to the development of paired fins, and their complicated cranial anatomy. The osteostracans were more similar to lampreys than to jawed vertebrates in possessing two pairs of semicircular canals in the inner ear, as opposed to the three pairs found in the inner ears of jawed vertebrates. They are thought to be the sister-group to pituriaspids, and together, these two taxa of jawless vertebrates are the sister-group of gnathostomes. Several synapomorphies support this hypothesis, such as the presence of: sclerotic ossicles, paired pectoral fins, a dermal skeleton with three layers (a basal layer of isopedin, a middle layer ...
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Cilium
The cilium, plural cilia (), is a membrane-bound organelle found on most types of eukaryotic cell, and certain microorganisms known as ciliates. Cilia are absent in bacteria and archaea. The cilium has the shape of a slender threadlike projection that extends from the surface of the much larger cell body. Eukaryotic flagella found on sperm cells and many protozoans have a similar structure to motile cilia that enables swimming through liquids; they are longer than cilia and have a different undulating motion. There are two major classes of cilia: ''motile'' and ''non-motile'' cilia, each with a subtype, giving four types in all. A cell will typically have one primary cilium or many motile cilia. The structure of the cilium core called the axoneme determines the cilium class. Most motile cilia have a central pair of single microtubules surrounded by nine pairs of double microtubules called a 9+2 axoneme. Most non-motile cilia have a 9+0 axoneme that lacks the central pair of m ...
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Lamprey
Lampreys (sometimes inaccurately called lamprey eels) are an ancient extant lineage of jawless fish of the order Petromyzontiformes , placed in the superclass Cyclostomata. The adult lamprey may be characterized by a toothed, funnel-like sucking mouth. The common name "lamprey" is probably derived from Latin , which may mean "stone licker" ( "to lick" + "stone"), though the etymology is uncertain. ''Lamprey'' is sometimes seen for the plural form. There are about 38 known extant species of lampreys and five known extinct species. Parasitic carnivorous species are the most well-known, and feed by boring into the flesh of other fish to suck their blood; but only 18 species of lampreys engage in this micropredatory lifestyle. Of the 18 carnivorous species, nine migrate from saltwater to freshwater to breed (some of them also have freshwater populations), and nine live exclusively in freshwater. All non-carnivorous forms are freshwater species. Adults of the non-carnivor ...
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Cyclostomata
Cyclostomi, often referred to as Cyclostomata , is a group of vertebrates that comprises the living jawless fishes: the lampreys and hagfishes. Both groups have jawless mouths with horny epidermal structures that function as teeth called ceratodontes, and branchial arches that are internally positioned instead of external as in the related jawed fishes. The name Cyclostomi means "round mouths". It was named by Joan Crockford-Beattie. Possible external relationships This taxon is often included in the paraphyletic superclass Agnatha, which also includes several groups of extinct armored fishes called ostracoderms. Most fossil agnathans, such as galeaspids, thelodonts, and osteostracans, are more closely related to vertebrates with jaws (called gnathostomes) than to cyclostomes. Cyclostomes seem to have split off before the evolution of dentine and bone, which are present in many fossil agnathans, including conodonts. Biologists disagree on whether cyclostomes ar ...
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Devonian Period
The Devonian ( ) is a geologic period and system of the Paleozoic era, spanning 60.3 million years from the end of the Silurian, million years ago (Mya), to the beginning of the Carboniferous, Mya. It is named after Devon, England, where rocks from this period were first studied. The first significant adaptive radiation of life on dry land occurred during the Devonian. Free-sporing vascular plants began to spread across dry land, forming extensive forests which covered the continents. By the middle of the Devonian, several groups of plants had evolved leaves and true roots, and by the end of the period the first seed-bearing plants appeared. The arthropod groups of myriapods, arachnids and hexapods also became well-established early in this period, after starting their expansion to land at least from the Ordovician period. Fish reached substantial diversity during this time, leading the Devonian to often be dubbed the Age of Fishes. The placoderms began dominating al ...
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Cephalaspidomorphi
Cephalaspidomorphs are a group of jawless fishes named for ''Cephalaspis'' of the osteostracans. Most biologists regard this taxon as extinct, but the name is sometimes used in the classification of lampreys, because lampreys were once thought to be related to cephalaspids. If lampreys are included, they would extend the known range of the group from the Silurian and Devonian periods to the present day. They are the closest relatives of jawed fishes, who emerged from within them and they would survive if the jawed fish are included. Biology and morphology Cephalaspidomorphi were, like most contemporary fishes, very well armoured. The head shield was particularly well developed, protecting the head, gills and the anterior section of the viscera. The body was in most forms well armoured as well. The head shield had a series of grooves over the whole surface, forming an extensive lateral line organ. The eyes were rather small and placed on the top of the head. There was no jaw ...
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Heterostraci
Heterostraci (Ancient Greek, ἕτερος+ὄστρακον "those itha different shell" i is pl. of -us is an extinct subclass of pteraspidomorph jawless vertebrate that lived primarily in marine and estuary environments. Heterostraci existed from the mid-Ordovician to the conclusion of the Devonian. Description and anatomy The Heterostracans differed from other Paleozoic agnathan taxa both in the arrangement and histology of their scales. Most heterostracans had two plates which form a large dorsal shield and a large ventral shield, and had series of scales arranged in various patterns on the sides of their bodies, the exact pattern differing from one group to another. In a few primitive forms, such as '' Lepidaspis'', the dorsal and ventral shields are composed of a mosaic of tiny scales. In most other known forms, though, these tiny scales have fused together to form the shield-plates. The scales of heterostracans are histologically distinct from other vertebrates, ...
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Conodonts
Conodonts (Greek ''kōnos'', "cone", + ''odont'', "tooth") are an extinct group of agnathan (jawless) vertebrates resembling eels, classified in the class Conodonta. For many years, they were known only from their tooth-like oral elements, which are usually found in isolation and are now called conodont elements. Knowledge about soft tissues remains limited. They existed in the world's oceans for over 300 million years, from the Cambrian to the beginning of the Jurassic. Conodont elements are widely used as index fossils, fossils used to define and identify geological periods. The animals are also called Conodontophora (conodont bearers) to avoid ambiguity. Discovery and understanding of conodonts The teeth-like fossils of the conodont were first discovered by Heinz Christian Pander and the results published in Saint Petersburg, Russia, in 1856. The name ''pander'' is commonly used in scientific names of conodonts. It was only in the early 1980s that the first fossil evidence of ...
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Neil Shubin
Neil Shubin (born December 22, 1960) is an American paleontologist, evolutionary biologist and popular science writer. He is the Robert R. Bensley Professor of Organismal Biology and Anatomy, Associate Dean of Organismal Biology and Anatomy and Professor on the Committee of Evolutionary Biology at the University of Chicago along with being the Provost of the Field Museum of Natural History. He is best known for his co-discovery of '' Tiktaalik roseae'' with Ted Daeschler and Farish Jenkins. Biography Raised in Overbrook Hills section of Lower Merion Township (contiguous to City of Philadelphia) and a graduate of Lower Merion High School, Shubin earned a A.B. from Columbia College of Columbia University in 1982 and a Ph.D. in organismic and evolutionary biology from Harvard University in 1987. He also studied at the University of California, Berkeley. Shubin was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 2011. Shubin was ABC News' "Person of the Week" in April 2006 when ...
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Sturgeon
Sturgeon is the common name for the 27 species of fish belonging to the family Acipenseridae. The earliest sturgeon fossils date to the Late Cretaceous, and are descended from other, earlier acipenseriform fish, which date back to the Early Jurassic period, some 174 to 201 million years ago. They are one of two living families of the Acipenseriformes alongside paddlefish (Polyodontidae). The family is grouped into four genera: ''Acipenser'' (which is paraphyletic, containing many distantly related sturgeon species), ''Huso'', ''Scaphirhynchus,'' and ''Pseudoscaphirhynchus''. Two species ('' A. naccarii'' and '' A. dabryanus'') may be extinct in the wild, and one ('' P. fedtschenkoi'') may be entirely extinct. Sturgeons are native to subtropical, temperate and sub-Arctic rivers, lakes and coastlines of Eurasia and North America. Sturgeons are long-lived, late-maturing fishes with distinctive characteristics, such as a heterocercal caudal fin similar to those of sharks, a ...
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Catfish
Catfish (or catfishes; order Siluriformes or Nematognathi) are a diverse group of ray-finned fish. Named for their prominent barbels, which resemble a cat's whiskers, catfish range in size and behavior from the three largest species alive, the Mekong giant catfish from Southeast Asia, the wels catfish of Eurasia, and the piraíba of South America, to detritivores (species that eat dead material on the bottom), and even to a tiny parasitic species commonly called the candiru, ''Vandellia cirrhosa''. Neither the armour-plated types nor the naked types have scales. Despite their name, not all catfish have prominent barbels or "whiskers". Members of the Siluriformes order are defined by features of the skull and swimbladder. Catfish are of considerable commercial importance; many of the larger species are farmed or fished for food. Many of the smaller species, particularly the genus '' Corydoras'', are important in the aquarium hobby. Many catfish are nocturnal,
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Scotland
Scotland (, ) is a Countries of the United Kingdom, country that is part of the United Kingdom. Covering the northern third of the island of Great Britain, mainland Scotland has a Anglo-Scottish border, border with England to the southeast and is otherwise surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, the North Sea to the northeast and east, and the Irish Sea to the south. It also contains more than 790 Islands of Scotland, islands, principally in the archipelagos of the Hebrides and the Northern Isles. Most of the population, including the capital Edinburgh, is concentrated in the Central Belt—the plain between the Scottish Highlands and the Southern Uplands—in the Scottish Lowlands. Scotland is divided into 32 Subdivisions of Scotland, administrative subdivisions or local authorities, known as council areas. Glasgow, Glasgow City is the largest council area in terms of population, with Highland (council area), Highland being the largest in terms of area. Limi ...
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