.mw-parser-output .hidden-begin{box-sizing:border-box;width:100%;padding:5px;border:none;font-size:95%}.mw-parser-output .hidden-title{font-weight:bold;line-height:1.6;text-align:left}.mw-parser-output .hidden-content{text-align:left}You can help expand this article with text translated from the corresponding article in German. (September 2020) Click [show] for important translation instructions. View a machine-translated version of the German article. Machine translation, like DeepL or Google Translate, is a useful starting point for translations, but translators must revise errors as necessary and confirm that the translation is accurate, rather than simply copy-pasting machine-translated text into the English Wikipedia. Consider adding a topic to this template: there are already 9,031 articles in the main category, and specifying|topic= will aid in categorization. Do not translate text that appears unreliable or low-quality. If possible, verify the text with references provided in the foreign-language article. You must provide copyright attribution in the edit summary accompanying your translation by providing an interlanguage link to the source of your translation. A model attribution edit summary is Content in this edit is translated from the existing German Wikipedia article at [[:de:Pteraspis]]; see its history for attribution. You should also add the template ((Translated|de|Pteraspis)) to the talk page. For more guidance, see Wikipedia:Translation.

Temporal range: Lochkovian-Eifelian
~416–386 Ma
Restoration of P. rostrata
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Infraphylum: Agnatha
Class: Pteraspidomorphi
Subclass: Heterostraci
Order: Pteraspidiformes
Family: Pteraspididae
Genus: Pteraspis
Kner, 1847
Type species
Cephalaspis rostrata
Agassiz, 1835
  • P. rostrata (Agassiz, 1835)
  • P. dixoni (White, 1938)
  • P. mitchelli (Powrie, 1864)

Pteraspis (from Greek: πτερόν pteron 'wing' or 'fin' and Greek: ἀσπίς aspís 'shield') is an extinct genus of pteraspidid heterostracan agnathan vertebrate that lived from the Lochkovian to Eifelian epochs of the Devonian period in what is now Brazil (Eifelian Maecuru Formation), Britain (Lochkovian Ditton Group), Ukraine (Lochkovian Ivane Suite, Pragian Babin Sandstone) and Belgium.[citation needed]


Fossil of P. rostrata
Reconstruction of Pteraspis, Estonian Museum of Natural History

Like other heterostracan fishes, Pteraspis had a protective armored plating covering the front of its body. Though lacking fins other than its lobed tail, it is thought to have been a good swimmer thanks to stiff, wing-like protrusions derived from the armoured plates over its gills. This, along with the horn-like rostrum, made Pteraspis very streamlined in shape; a perfect quality for a good swimmer. Pteraspis also had some stiff spikes on its back, possibly an additional form of protection against predators. It is thought to have fed from shoals of plankton just under the ocean surface,[1] and some records are found in association with marine fossils,[2][3] while some others are found in freshwater environment.[4]

Pteraspis grew to an estimated length of 20 centimetres (7.9 in).


  1. ^ Palmer, D., ed. (1999). The Marshall Illustrated Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Animals. London: Marshall Editions. p. 23. ISBN 1-84028-152-9.
  2. ^ Lankester, E. R. (1870). "I.—On a New Cephalaspis Discovered in America, etc". Geological Magazine. 7 (75): 397–399. doi:10.1017/S0016756800209485.
  3. ^ White, E. I. (1938). "New Pteraspids from South Wales". Quarterly Journal of the Geological Society. 94 (1–4): 85–116. doi:10.1144/GSL.JGS.1938.094.01-04.05.
  4. ^ Davies, Benjamin Evan (2009-07-03). An experimental morphological investigation into the hydrodynamics and locomotion of the Palaeozoic jawless vertebrates Poraspis, Errivaspis and Ateleaspis (thesis thesis). University of Leicester.