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Temporal range: 535–525 Ma
Zhongjianichthys rostratus.jpg
Artist's reconstruction
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Superclass: Agnatha
Order: Myllokunmingiida
Family: Myllokunmingiidae
Genus: Zhongjianichthys
Species: Z. rostratus
Binomial name
Zhongjianichthys rostratus
Shu, 2003

Zhongjianichthys rostratus is an extinct basal chordate that lived in the Cambrian period, approximately 530 million years ago. It is sometimes regarded as an early fish, and therefore as one of the first vertebrates.

Physical characteristics[edit]

The eyes are located behind the antero-dorsal lobe and the mouth apparently did not have a jaw. It lacked scales, and had a thick skin. The ventral fin is low in height, and runs much of the body's length.


Zhongjianichthys specimens have been found in the early Cambrian Maotianshan shales of China.