A new genus and species of lungfish has been identified that lived about 365 million years ago (the Phenian phase of the late Devonian period) from fossils found in South Africa.
Lungfish (Dipnoi subclass) is a group of fish dating back to the early Devonian period, dating from the early Devonian period 410 million years ago.
They reached a peak of diversity and abundance throughout the Devonian, with 100 species described in that period of time.
It is known that more than 25 species originated in the waters of eastern Gondwan (Australia) and others live in the tropical and subtropical temperate waters of China and Morocco.
The newly discovered species represents the only lame record of the late Devonian of West Gondwana (South America and Africa).
Called Istimazi Mezomode, the ancient creature is also the only known lame fish from the Witport Formation in South Africa.
“It was discovered that Isityumzi mlomomde was about 10,000 km from the previous species described in Morocco, and is of interest because it was present at a high latitude (70 ° south) or polar atmosphere at that time,” said Dr. Alice Clement, Flinders biologist, said she is the author of an article published in the university and in Peerage magazine.
Dental plates, scales and two parasithenoids of Isityumzi mlomomde (a bone in the skull of several vertebrae) dr. They were found between 1999 and 2017 by Robert Gess, paleontologist at the University of Rhodes, the Albany Museum and the University of Wits, and co-author of the article. .
“This lung content is important for several reasons,” explained Dr. Clement.
“First, it represents the only lame of the late Devonian known from western Gondwana. During this period, about 372–359 million years ago, South Africa was next to the South Pole. “
“The second is that the Mezimade Isimazi lives in a thriving ecosystem, indicating that the region was not as cold as the polar regions of today.”
“Animals are still subject to long periods of winter darkness, very different from the freshwater habitat in which lungfish live today when only six known species of lungs live in Africa, South America and Australia.”