Article: Sclerotic plates or circumorbital bones in early jawed fishes?
Circumorbital dermal bones are found in most groups of early vertebrates that have dermal bony plates on the head. Taxonomic distribution of dermal sclerotic plates on the eye itself is less clear, partly because the eyeball is rarely preserved and sometimes because sclerotic bones have been misinterpreted as circumorbital bones. Based on the examination of climatiid Climatius plus mesacanthid, cheiracanthid and acanthodid acanthodiform acanthodians, we conclude that most, if not all, acanthodiforms and climatiids had sclerotic rings. Presence and number of these elements should be included as a character in phylogenetic analyses of early jawed vertebrates.