Animal Database

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Animal Database
Animal Database
Scientific Classification
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Pteraspida
Order Astraspidiformes
Family Unknown
Genus Astraspis
Species Astraspis desiderata
Conservation Status

Astraspis is an extinct genus of primitive jawless fish from the Ordovician of Central North America and Bolivia. It is related to other Ordovician fishes, such as the South American Sacabambaspis, and the Australian Arandaspis.


Astraspids are thought to have been about 7.9 inches in length. They are also thought to have had a mobile tail covered with small protective plates of less than 0.039 inches and a head region covered with plates larger than 0.079 inches. The specimen from North America is thought to have had relatively large, lateral eyes and a series of eight gill openings on each side. The specimen was generally oval in cross-section. The protective bony plates covering the animal were composed of aspidin (chemically similar to modern shark's teeth), covered by tubercles composed to dentine. It is from these tubercles (which are generally star-shaped) that the name 'Astraspis' is derived.