Devonian Spiny-finned Fish - Ischnacanthus

This fossil fish called Ischnacanthus gracilis was first discovered at Turin Hill near Forfar, Scotland by the Reverend Hugh Mitchell (1822-1894). Mitchell was the minister at Craig Free Church near Montrose. During the mid to late nineteenth century the sandstones of Strathmore were being actively quarried and Mitchell was able to build up an important collection of fish fossils. The fossil is preserved in Lower Old Red Sandstone rock. These rocks were once silty sand accumulating at the bottom of a large lake known as ‘Lake Forfar’ about 380 million years ago. In this lake lived small predatory fish and water scorpions.

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  • Accession number: 1978.1665.7
  • Category: Natural HIstory
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