One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A fossil fish of the Devonian period, having the front part of the body encased in broad flat bony plates.
Class Placodermi: several orders
- ‘During this period the agnathan and gnathostome fishes, too, gave rise to many distinctive groups: the armoured ostracoderm and placoderms, the bony fishes, and elasmobranchs to populate marine and freshwater environments.’
- ‘The extinct armored fishes known as placoderms make up what is considered to be the earliest branch of the gnathostome family tree - the earliest branch of the jawed fishes.’
- ‘Four hundred million years ago armor-plated fishes, the placoderms, swam along the sandy floor of oceans that once covered much of Australia.’
- ‘Such giant cephalopods play or played a similar ecological role of top predator to that of Devonian arthrodire placoderms, Mesozoic pliosaurs and Cenozoic toothed whales.’
- ‘It was also covered in bony overlapping plates, like all placoderms, but had weak jaws and a peculiar high-crested bone, somewhat like a dorsal fin, straddled its back.’
- ‘Many placoderms had one or both, and it is from this circumorbital series that the jugal seems to have derived.’
- ‘There is never a lack of unanswered questions in paleontology, but the placoderms do seem to have more than their fair share.’
- ‘This is characterized by a diversity of prehistoric armoured fish known as placoderms (principally, arthrodires)’
- ‘However, they were later surpassed in this role by certain fish, notably the placoderms, a highly diverse group that sported interlocking plates of armor.’
- ‘By the Mid-Devonian, placoderms, the first jawed fish, appear.’
- ‘If large body lengths are primitive for jawed fishes, which is also true for many placoderms, then a marked reduction in body size may have occurred with the origin of ray-finned fishes.’
- ‘In this capacity, it came to bear a very wide variety of cutting surfaces, from the inferognathals of arthrodire placoderms to the bizarre spiral symphysial tooth whorls of Helicoprion.’
- ‘Only fragmentary remains are known of animals that may represent early stages in the differentiation of placoderms, chondrichthyes, and osteichthyes.’
- ‘With their armored head shield and trunk shield composed of overlapping bony plates, the placoderms appear at first glance extremely similar to the ostracoderms (armoured jawless fish).’
- ‘Jawless fishes and placoderms were also affected, although many placoderm lineages survived quite happily until the end Devonian.’
- ‘They found that the primitive state for all chondrichthyans (and quite likely placoderms as well) is autodiastyly.’
- ‘To take the chain of speculation one step further, this suggests that the maxilla itself was originally a flat dermal plate of some kind, possibly homologous to the superognathal of placoderms.’
- ‘In addition, it has several features, such as the fin spines and characters of the shoulder plate, which are associated with placoderms, chondrichthyans, or acanthodians.’
- ‘The placoderms and chondrichthyans both show at least some capsular protuberance of the braincase, but the braincase is a single, undivided mass, whether or not ossified.’
- ‘This site has yielded numerous vertebrate fossils, particularly placoderms and early osteichthyans, such as the Cheirolepis shown here.’
Mid 19th century: from Greek plax, plak- ‘flat plate’ + derma ‘skin’.
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