2013+15, acrylics, digital and photography
Image for = Choo, B. (2015) A new species of the Devonian actinopterygian Moythomasia
from Bergisch Gladbach, Germany, and fresh observations on M. durgaringa
from the Gogo Formation of Western Australia, Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. DOI:
link = www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/1…
ca. 380 million years ago, Late Devonian (early Frasnian), Oberer Plattenkalk, Bergisch-Gladbach, Nordrheine-Westfalen, Germany.
In a shallow sea over what will become Germany, a 20 cm long actinopterygian (Moythomasia lineata
) swims in front of a shoal of smaller cousins (Moythomasia nitida
along with a tetrapodomorph (Latvius niger
and a trio of pelagic crustaceans (Montecaris strunensis
)Moythomasia lineata =
an ancient actinopterygian fish named and described in the above paper by yours truly. Based on material originally collected in the 1960s and currently house in Naturhistoriska riksmuseet, Stockholm. Known from three incomplete large adults and and least 8 small juveniles. Larger specimens (including the eventual holotype) were initially described as M.
by Jessen (1968), a scale-taxon from Wildungen while the juvies were misidentified as the contemporaneous M. nitida.
When I visited the collections in 2007, I determined that what we had was a new species of Moythomasia
, showing that you can make discoveries without getting your hands dirty by simply snooping around museum collections. M. lineata
differs from M. nitida
(plus the Aussie M. durgaringa
) in have a completely linear bone and scale ornament, without the little pits you find in the other species. It's also more elongate that other completely known members of the genus. The scales of the genuine M. striata
have a similar ornament to lineata
but a different shape and it is not clear that they belong to Moythomasia
in the first place. Moythomasia nitida
= the most common fossil fish at Bergisch-Gladbach. Originally named by Gross in 1953, however when numerous complete specimens were described by Jessen i(1968), it was the first time such an ancient ray-finned fish had been described in such detail. Latvius niger
= A small osteolepid tetrapodomorph. Montecaris strunensis
= a phyllocarid, malacostracan crustaceans with a bivalved carapace. Living phyllocarids (leptostracans) are less than an inch long, but Devonian archaeostracan examples could grow much bigger. Montecaris
was a highly successful genus of the Middle-Late Devonian with a wide distribution (Europe, Canada, Australia), typically ranging in size from 5 - 25 cm in length (with rare examples approaching 2 feet).