Palaeospondylus gunni Traquair


This tiny fish is found in reasonable numbers in Caithness at Achanarras and its equivalent locality Niand. The fish is extremely rare in the Sandwick Fish Bed on Orkney that is regarded equivalent in time and belonging to the same lake as Achanarras.

There is an impressive list of papers on this species and many theories are postulated about what group the fish should belong to.

In one of the most recent papers (Thomson, 2003) Palaeospondylus is presented as a larval dipnoan (Dipterus).

Den Blaauwen and Newman add new information showing that Palaeospondylus isnít a larval dipnoan.

Complete big specimen from the Sandwick Fish Bed (collection NMS, © NMS)

Complete specimen, head vague, Sandwick Fish Bed (collection F.V.C.)

Complete fish from Achanarras, Caithness

Complete fish from Achanarras, Caithness

Drawing of complete fish (after Moy-Thomas, 1940 ©)

Drawing of head A: in dorsal B: in ventral view (after Moy-Thomas, 1940 ©)

Drawing of specimen (after Traquair, 1893)

Reconstruction A: vertebrae, B, complete specimen, C, D, E: heads (after Traquair, 1893)

Drawing of A-E heads, F, G: complete fish, H: tail (after Traquair, 1894)