November 10 2010

12:00 LSB 2320

John Long
Vice President of Research and Collections, Natural History Museum

The Late Devonian Gogo Fishes of Western Australia: Exceptional Preservation and Diversity Sheds Light on Major Evolutionary Events


The Gogo Formation of northern Western Australia preserves a unique Late Devonian (Frasnian, 375 million year old) reef fauna of fishes and crustaceans. The exceptional three-dimensional preservation of macrofossils combined with unprecedented soft-tissue preservation (including muscle bundles, nerves cells and umbilical structures), has yielded a particularly rich assemblage with almost 50 species of fishes described. The most significant discoveries have contributed to resolving placoderm phylogeny and elucidating their reproductive physiology, providing data on the oldest known vertebrate embryos; the anatomy of the primitive osteichthyan neurocranium and phylogeny of the earliest ray-finned fishes (actinopterygians); the histology and radiation and plasticity of dipnoan dental and cranial structures; the anatomy and functional morphology of onychodonts; on the anatomy of the primitive tetrapodomorph head and pectoral fin.

Long, J.A. & Trinjstic, K. 2010. The Late Devonian Gogo Formation Lägerstatte of Western Australia: Exceptional Early Vertebrate Preservation and Diversity. Annual Reviews in Earth and Planetary Sciences 38: 255-279.











































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































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