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Ichthyostega specimens were the first Devonian tetrapods to be found and described (Säve-Söderbergh 1932, Jarvik 1952, 1980, 1996). Ichthyostega comes from the Upper Devonian (Famennian) of East Greenland and is widely featured in the literature as the first ‘four-legged fish’. Reconstructions of the animal (see title figure) have been influential in ideas about what the earliest tetrapods were like, though more recent studies (Bjerring 1985, Coates and Clack 1990, Clack et al. 2003, Ahlberg et al. 2005) have challenged more traditional interpretations (Jarvik 1996).
Figure 1. Skull roof of Ichthyostega. MGUH VP 6064 Geological Museum, Copenhagen. Photo J. A. Clack. Copyright © 1997 University Museum of Zoology, Cambridge.