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Ventastega curonica

Originally described from very fragmentary remains in 1994, new materials including a nearly complete skull described in 2008 show that Ventastega was an early tetrapod with limbs rather than fins, more advanced than Elginerpeton but more primitive than Acanthostega. It had a deep alligator like skull and was probably feeding on fish in the shallow sea.


Ventastega curonica


Ahlberg, Luksevics & Lebedev, 1994

Meaning of the generic name

Venta (river) Roof


Skull length: 20 cm; Length: 1 m


Nearly complete skull and a few postcranial elements.

Age and Distribution

Ketleri Formation (upper Famennian, Late Devonian) in Latvia



   Further Reading

  Ahlberg, P.E., E. Luksevicks, and O.A. Lebedev. 1994. "The first tetrapod finds from the Devonian (Upper Famennian) of Latvia." Philos. Trans. R. Soc. London B. 343: 303-328.
Ahlberg PE, Clack JA, Luksevics E, Blom H, Zupins I. 2008. Ventastega curonica and the origin of tetrapod morphology. Nature 453(7199):1199-204.

Panderichthys bystrovi Gross, 1941, in partim

Life reconstruction of Ventastega curonica (© N. Tamura)

Reconstruction of Elginerpeton curonica. From Ahlberg et al., 2008. Scale bars are 10 cm (a)  and 1 cm (b-g)