Cheirolepis trailli Agassiz

 

This medium size fish can reach a length of 30 cm and is well known from the Sandwick Fish Bed but, since it is often not well preserved people don’t bother to collect it. However, it is a very important fish in the fish “history” (see general text on actinopterygians).

It is also found above the Sandwick Fish Bed as isolated scales and dermal plates of the head. It was a top predator like Gyroptychius agassizi and probably acanthodians, lungfish and small osteolepids were its prey. Both lower and upper jaws have rows of small but sharp teeth.

 

Complete fish from Achanarras, Caithness

Complete fish from Sandwick Fish Bed

Close up head

Incomplete fish from Sandwick Fish Bed

Close up of tail

Reconstruction of fish in A: lateral and B: ventral view (after Pearson, 1979 ©)

Head in lateral view (after Pearson, 1979 ©)

Head in A: dorsal and B: ventral view (after Pearson, 1979 ©)

Reconstruction of head ready for attack (after Pearson, 1979 ©)

Drawing of specimen from Moray Firth area (after Agassiz, 1844)

Drawing of fish (after Miller, 1841)

Drawing of specimen (after Pander, 1860)

Reconstruction in lateral view (after Traquair, 1895)