Coccosteus cuspidatus Miller ex Agassiz MS

Model of Coccosteus cuspidatus (by P.H.de Buisonjé).

This medium sized placoderm is very common in the Sandwick Fish Bed

As the fish is covered with dermal plates it is often found as a heap of disarticulated plates together with a more or less well-preserved tail. The skin covering the tail is often only visible as a vague smear. The jaws have tiny teeth like structures, and it could probably prey on small acanthodians and juvenile specimens. Since the fish is built like a bottom dweller, with its flat ventral belly it may have scavenged on dead fish or small invertebrates. It is also suggested in the literature that it was also an ambush predator.

Complete fish from the Sandwick Fish Bed.

Reconstruction of a complete fish (after Miles & Westoll, 1968 ©).

Reconstruction of the body in dorsal view (after Miles & Westoll, 1968 ©).

Reconstructions of the body in ventral view, (after Miles & Westoll, 1968 ©).

Reconstructions of the head in dorsal, lateral and front view (after Miles & Westoll, 1968 ©).

A head from the Moray firth area.

A head from the Sandwick Fish Bed, C; central plate Nu: nuchal plate, P.Nu: paranuchal plate.

Reconstruction of a median dorsal plate, external and internal view (after Miles & Westoll, 1968 ©).

Two median dorsal plates.

Nuchal plate

Reconstruction of nuchal plate, external and internal view (after Miles & Westoll, 1968 ©).

Nuchal and paranuchal plates.

Anterolateral plate of Coccosteus

Reconstruction of anterolateral plate (after Miles & Westoll 1968) the Lower Stromness beds, found in front of Stromness camping (in situ). (© NMS.G.2022.10.687)

Reconstruction of fish in lateral view (after Agassiz, 1844).

Reconstruction of fish in lateral view (after Traquair, 1889).

Reconstruction of body in dorsal  and ventral view (after Traquair, 1889).

Drawing of specimen (after Woodward, 1891)

Reconstruction of fish in dorsal view (after Miller, 1841).

Placoderms Arthrodira