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An Aquarium from the Age of Fishes



An Aquarium from the Age of Fishes
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 3 to 5
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   4.17

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    crinoid, crinoids, formidable, lungfish, osteostracans, placoderm, placoderms, plate-sized, scorpion, shark-like, translucent, triangular, trilobite, tuft, species, gills
     content words:    Prehistoric Pet Store


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An Aquarium from the Age of Fishes
By Colleen Messina
  

1     If you wanted to have an ancient aquarium, you would have fun. Many strange fish lived in the Devonian period. It was called the Age of Fishes, and it started about 408 million years ago. So what would go in your Devonian aquarium?
 
2     First of all, you would need a big tank. Most fish from this age were huge. You could put some white sand in the bottom of the tank. Then, you would want to fill it with warm, clear salt water. You could add pink coral and rugged rocks.
 
3     Then, you could go to the Prehistoric Pet Store to stock your tank. If you don't find one near your house, you might need to use your imagination! Be sure to bring a large wagon to so you can bring your new pets home. It might be nice to add graceful crinoids. A crinoid looked like a plant, but it really was an animal. It had a large stalk with a tuft of waving arms on top. It is also called a sea lily. To finish things off for your tank, you could add snails and green algae. Bright yellow sponges and translucent jelly fish floating around would add some lively touches. Then, you'll need some fish.
 
4     What would you shop for first? Well, you would want at least one placoderm. It would give you something to talk about with your friends. Placoderms looked fierce! They even wore armor. Placoderms' armor consisted of hard shields on their heads and trunks. This armor had a hinge. When placoderms opened their mouths, the hinge let them lift their heads. It is hard to imagine a stranger thing than armor on a fish, but placoderms had it.

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