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Fish belong to the vertebrates (Vertebrata). The oldest known fish fossils are from the early Cambrian period. The first fishes to appear were jawless (Agnatha). From the early Silurian, jawed fish appeared. The Devonian marked the success of the armoured fishes (Placodermi), with typical bone skin plates for protection. Also Bony fishes (Actinopterygii) and Cartilaginous fishes (Chondrichthyes) appeared. Most recent fish species belong to one of those last two clades. Typical fossil fish remains are teeth, bones and skin plates. Complete fish fossils are known from numerous localities worldwide.

Fossil bony fishes from Solnhofen, Germany.

Typical amphicoelous fish vertebra


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