The most ancient inhabitant of our Paleopark is a lobe-finned fish Panderichthys. Its relatives lived in the reservoirs with fresh water in the Devonian period about 370-38 million years ago. What is so special about these creatures? Panderichthys had quite powerful fins which allowed them to cover distance from one pond to another over land. Another peculiarity of this fish is its ability to breathe not only under water but also atmospheric air on land. Using modern methods of computer tomography, scientists studied fins of Panderichthys and discovered small bones similar to the bones of terrestrial vertebrates.
Panderichthys was named in honor of the Russian scientist and evolutionist Christian Heinrich von Pander. The species was discovered in 1930 by the German paleontologist Walter Robert Gross and first officially described in 1941. Fossil remains of such fish were found in the Baltics and the Leningrad oblast. The first archaeological discoveries made in the Soviet Latvia in the 1970es were studied by the Russian paleontologists. The head of excavations was the Russian academician E.I. Vorobieva. The scientists concluded that panderichthys wasn’t a transitional form from fish to amphibians, however learning the structure of this unusual fish helped to understand the appearance of particular adaptations to terrestrial life among first tetrapods.