Evidence for Placoderms from the Mid-Palaeozoic Sandon Beds of North-western New South Wales, Australia


  • Russell D C Bicknell
  • Patrick D Smith
  • Lachlan J Hart
  • John A Long
  • Kate M Trinajstic


Armoured jawed fishes known as placoderms are a well-documented group with a fossil record spanning the Silurian to end-Devonian. They have a global distribution and a marked diversity within Devonian deposits of Australia. Despite their notable Gondwanan fossil record, new material is occasionally identified and can present important stratigraphic information for otherwise under-explored deposits. A unique find from the so-called Sandon beds is presented here and expands the record of placoderms from New South Wales. This specimen presents insight into a previously unknown macrofossil record from the deposit and suggests a more Devonian age for the unit, rather than the previously suggested Carboniferous date. We also summarise the macrovertebrate record of Devonian placoderms from Australia, highlighting and discussing changes in their Gondwanan taxonomic diversity across the time period.