arthrodiran /ahr'threuh duy"reuhn/, arthrodirous, adj.
/ahr"threuh duyeur'/, n.
any of numerous fishes of the extinct order Arthrodira, widely distributed during the Devonian Period, having the anterior part of the body covered by a shield of bony plates.
[ < NL Arthrodira, equiv. to arthro- ARTHRO- + -dira < Gk deiré neck, throat]

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▪ extinct fish
      any member of an order of extinct, armoured, jawed fishes (placoderms) found in Devonian freshwater and marine deposits. (The Devonian period lasted from 416 million to 359 million years ago.) Early arthrodires, such as the genus Arctolepis, were well-armoured fishes with flattened bodies. They had hollow, backward-curved shoulder spines and may have used the long spines to anchor themselves or to move about on the bottom.

      Later arthrodires, such as the Middle Devonian genus Coccosteus, tended toward marine habitats. Coccosteans were less heavily armoured than Arctolepis, and the bony head and body shields were connected by a joint on each side allowing free head movement. They were predators and had bony jaws. Two toothplates were present on each side of an arthrodire's upper jaw, and one toothplate was present on each side of its lower jaw. The back of the body and the tail were apparently naked, and its headshield was reduced, which was possibly reflective of its predatory habits. The shoulder spine was shortened or, in some forms, absent.

      Arthrodires became extinct during the Late Devonian. The genus Dinichthys (sometimes included with Dunkleosteus), representative of this period, was similar to coccosteans but grew much longer, about 9 m (30 feet) against 0.6 m (2 feet) for coccosteans.

      There were many arthrodire offshoots during the Devonian. Members of the genus Phyllolepis lost most of their head armour. They were formerly considered ostracoderms. The ptyctodonts, relatives of the arthrodires, lived in the sea and possibly fed upon mollusks.

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Universalium. 2010.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • arthrodire — ● arthrodire nom masculin (du grec deirê, cou) Poisson cuirassé de l ère primaire, aux pectorales réduites, tel que coccosteus. (Les arthrodires forment une sous classe probablement à l origine des requins actuels.) …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • arthrodire — noun Any member of the order Arthrodira, armored jawed fishes that flourished in the Devonian period. The basicranial circulation of Ptomacanthus resembles that in arthrodire placoderms …   Wiktionary

  • Arthrodire — Arthrodires …   Wikipédia en Français

  • arthrodire — ar·thro·dire …   English syllables

  • arthrodire — noun see arthrodira * * * arthrodiran /ahr threuh duy reuhn/, arthrodirous, adj. /ahr threuh duyeur /, n. any of numerous fishes of the extinct order Arthrodira, widely distributed during the Devonian Period, having the anterior part of the body… …   Useful english dictionary

  • Arthrodira — Arthrodire Arthrodires …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Arthrodires — Arthrodire Arthrodires …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Placodermi — Taxobox name = Placodermi fossil range = fossil range|430|360Early/Mid Silurian – Late Devonian image width = 200px image caption = Dunkleosteus attacking Gorgonichthys regnum = Animalia phylum = Chordata subphylum = Vertebrata infraphylum =… …   Wikipedia

  • Dunkleosteus — Temporal range: Late Devonian, 380–360 Ma …   Wikipedia

  • Onychodus — Temporal range: Eifelian–Famennian …   Wikipedia

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