By Dorling Kindersley
The Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs and Prehistoric existence is simply that: a spectacularly illustrated, finished advisor to the prehistoric international, and the crops and animals that lived there. With in-depth discussions of early Earth's eras of hospitable (and inhospitable) climates, stipulations, and the existence kinds that flourished and floundered.
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Extra resources for Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Life
Fleshy lobes support some of its fins and enameled scales protect its body. Its “frayed” tail is a reminder of the name crossopterygian (“fringe fin”), which is sometimes used for the coelacanth group. People thought all coelacanths were extinct until one was caught off South Africa in 1938. Narrow, fleshy, fin-fringed tail No dorsal or anal fins Eusthenopteron fossil GOOD STRONG FIN Eusthenopteron (“good strong fin”) was a long-bodied, predatory freshwater fish with a three-pronged tail. Nostrils opened into its mouth, and details of its skull, teeth, backbone, and the bones of its paired pectoral and pelvic fins were similar to those of the first four-legged animals.
Advanced tetrapods may possess five digits simply because this is the best number when the limbs are used for walking, rather than as paddles. Fish fins lack both a wrist region and distinct digits. Numerous small bones form the fin skeletons of lobe-finned fish. 2–299 Permian EARLY TETRAPODS All early limbed vertebrates have a distinctive patterned skull surface. FISHLIKE SKULL The skull of Acanthostega was streamlined in shape and well suited for grabbing fish and other aquatic prey. This well preserved skull is similar to that of the lobe-finned fishes, ancestors of the earliest limbed vertebrates.
In 1999, Chinese scientists described an earlier fossil creature that they believed would have had an anatomy very similar to Branchiostoma, but was more fishlike. They claim that 530-million-year-old Haikouella had a well-developed brain, eyes, a heart, and gill filaments. Such Neural cord creatures might have been the world’s first craniates – creatures with a cranium or skull. Eye Brain V-shaped blocks of muscle Living Branchiostoma Haikouella Mouth opening Heart Tail, or stem, used to drag the body over mud.
Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Life by Dorling Kindersley