"This is a Placoderm. Its name is a Greek word. It means 'Armor-Plating'. This is in the same family as Dunkleosteus."

Bothriolepis ("Pitted/Trench Scale") was a small placoderm fish from the Devonian. It was related to the far larger and far more ferocious Dunkleosteus.



Bothriolepis lived during the Middle to Late Devonian period, 387 to 360 million years ago. It shared the oceans with Dunkleosteus, Stethacanthus, Hyneria, and other sea creatures. These fish were only around for 50 million years then they became extinct. There's nothing like them alive in the 21st century.


Bothriolepis was a small placoderm fish, around 60 centimeters to about a meter long, and weighed a couple of dozen pounds (heavier for its size due to the iconic thick armour plates of its Placoderm Fish family). Its head was protected with a thick armour -plating whilst the rest of its body was bare. It also had large fins and relatively large eyes.

Being small, and with its eyes positioned on the top of its head to detect predators and the mouth slung low on the skull to hover up its food, it is perfectly reasonable to suggest that this animal was a bottom-feeder - a Detritivore that lived in seas, tidal estuaries and perhaps inland in rivers and lakes also.

Bothriolepis was also prey of various denizens of the Devonian deep, including is larger relative Dunkleosteus.