any member of an order of extinct, armoured, jawed fishes (placoderms) found in Devonian freshwater and marine deposits. (The Devonian period lasted from 416 million to 359 million years ago.) Early arthrodires, such as the genus Arctolepis, were well-armoured fishes with flattened bodies. They had hollow, backward-curved shoulder spines and may have used the long spines to anchor themselves or to move about on the bottom.
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