Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Pteraspidomorphi
Subclass Astraspida
Order Astraspidiformes
Family Astraspidae
Genus Astraspis
1st Species Astraspis desiderata
Other attributes
Time Range 467-443 mya
Location United States of America, Canada, Bolivia
Name Meaning Star shield
Physical Dimensions 20 centimeters long
Dietary Classification Detritivore

Astraspis is an astraspid astraspidiform jawless fish from the Middle Ordovician-Llandovery of North America, Canada, and Bolivia. It was named in 1982 by Charles D. Walcott. It was one of the many jawless fishes to swim in the Ordovician seas, which were advanced at the time.


Astraspis represented the generic jawless fish, a fish with a mobile tail and a large, oval-shaped body. It had eyes positioned on the side of its head, 8 gills on each side of its body, and bony plates on the animal's head with star-shaped projections protruding from them (hence the meaning of its name, "star shield"). Its body would have been covered in scaly skin, with bony plates covering most of it.


Astraspis was a detritivore, sucking up pieces of organic debris suspended in the water. Its small, toothless mouth would have been used to filter detritus from the water.


Not much is known about Astraspis.

In popular cultureEdit

Astraspis was featured in the 1st episode of the 2003 documentary Chased by Sea Monsters, where Nigel Marven, the explorer of the prehistoric seas, uses a dead individual as bait for the large eurypterid, Megalograptus.

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.