Home / Albums / Prehistoric /

Cephalaspis and Loricaria, an Ancient and a Modern Armored Fish

Cephalaspis and Loricaria, an Ancient and a Modern Armored Fish.jpg Skeleton of a Radiolarian Very Greatly EnlargedThumbnailsPterichthys, the Wing Fish

Still higher up we come upon the abundant remains of numerous small fish-like animals, more or less completely clad in bony armor, indicating that they lived in troublous times when there was literally a fight for existence and only such as were well armed or well protected could hope to survive. A parallel case exists to-day in some of the rivers of South America, where the little cat-fishes would possibly be eaten out of existence but for the fact that they are covered—some of them very completely—with plate-armor that enables them to defy their enemies, or renders them such poor eating as not to be worth the taking. The arrangement of the plates or scales in the living Loricaria is very suggestive of the series of bony rings covering the body of the ancient Cephalaspis, only the latter, so far as we know, had no side-fins; but the creatures are in no wise related, and the similarity is in appearance only.

Animals of the Past
By Frederic A. Lucas
Published in 1901
Available from gutenberg.org