Clack, Jennifer A. University Museum of Zoology, Cambridge, United Kingdom.
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An extinct genus of four-legged basal tetrapods. Members of the now-extinct genus Ichthyostega were basal vertebrate tetrapods that evolved from their lobe-finned fish ancestors during the later Devonian Period (400–350 million years ago) [see illustration]. Ichthyostega was the first Devonian tetrapod to be described and was found in East Greenland during the 1930s. For many decades, it remained the only representative of the "fish-tetrapod transition," which was known from articulated skeletal fossils. Subsequently, a second genus from the same beds, Acanthostega, was more fully described. Since then, other Devonian tetrapod genera have been recognized in other parts of the world. See also: Tetrapoda; Vertebrata
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