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Temporal range: Late Frasnian
Draconichthys elegans.jpg
Artist's reconstruction
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Class: Placodermi
Order: Arthrodira
Suborder: Brachythoraci
Infraorder: Coccosteina
Superfamily: Dinichthyloidea
Family: Selenosteidae
Genus: Draconichthys
Species: D. elegans
Binomial name
Draconichthys elegans
Rücklin 2011[1]

Draconichthys elegans is a selenosteid arthrodire placoderm from the Late Frasnian Kellwasserkalk facies of the Anti-Atlas Mountains of what is now Morocco.[1] During the Late Devonian, the region would have been a shallow, algae-dimmed sea.[2]

D. elegans differs from all other selenosteids in the structure of its gnathal plates, which are comparatively large, and have long teeth-like prongs. This feature strongly suggests that it was a predatory animal, and used its pronged gnathal plates to prevent seized prey from squirming out of its mouth. The anatomy of its skull, however, is otherwise very typical of selenosteids, being very similar to the genera Enseosteus, Rhinosteus, and Walterosteus. D. elegans is currently known from a single skull about 112 millimetres in length.[1]


  1. ^ a b c RÜCKLIN, MARTIN (January 14, 2011). "First selenosteid placoderms from the eastern Anti-Atlas of Morocco; osteology, phylogeny and palaeogeographical implications". Paleontology. 56 (1): 25–62. doi:10.1111/j.1475-4983.2010.01026.x. 
  2. ^ Denison, Robert (1978). Handbook of Paleoichthyology, Volume 2, Placodermi. New York: Gustav Fischer Verlage. p. 17. ISBN 9780895740274.