Haikouichthys ercaicunensis as it appeared in Walking with Monsters
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Clade: Craniata
Superclass: Agnatha
Family: Myllokunmingiidae
Genus: Haikouichthys
Referred species
  • Haikouichthys ercaicunensis
    (Luo et al., 1999) (type)

Haikouichthys /ˌhaɪkuːˈɪkθɪs/ (meaning “fish from Haikou, Kunming”) is an extinct genus of craniate (creatures with backbones and distinct heads) believed to have lived c. 530 million years ago, during the Cambrian explosion of multicellular life. Haikouichthys had a defined skull and other characteristics that have led paleontologists to label it a true craniate, and even to be popularly characterized as one of the earliest fishes. Cladistic analysis indicates that the animal is probably a basal chordate or a basal craniate; but it does not possess sufficient features to be included uncontroversially even in either stem group. They do not even had jaws like the living lampreys and hagfishes including it's relative Myllokunmingia. Their family were Myllokunmingidae which even includes Myllokunmingia. There classified as Agnatha because it does not have jaws but it look more like a non-agnathan Craniate other than a Agnatha.

It is a popular misconception that Haikouichthys is named after Haikou, the capital and largest city of Hainan, an island province of China, but Haikouichthys actually gets its name from a district in Kunming, the capital and largest city in Yunnan, a province in southwestern China.


In popular culture[]

  • Haikouichthys appeared in Walking with Monsters and was said to be our ancestor.


See also[]