Chinese paleontologists found fossils of Chinese of fish which are almost age 439 million years old. They were discovered in Guizhou Province in southern China and feature the oldest jaws ever found on our planet.
Fossils of the 15cm-long Fanjingshania fish, which come from an ancient ancestor of sharks that lived in the Paleozoic period, have surprised scientists because of their antiquity. The discovery pushes back the fish with the oldest known jaws by about 15 million years. The previous holder of the oldest jaw record was a 425 million year old fish.
The researchers from the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the British University of Birmingham made the publication in the journal Nature. “The news fossils everything changes. This is the earliest known anatomically jawed fishsaid lead researcher Professor Chu Min of the Academy’s Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology.
Today humans and 99.8% of all vertebrates have jaws that help them eat. Fish appeared on Earth about 520 million years ago, and for a long time they did not have jaws. Previously the seas were dominated by sea scorpions up to 2.5 meters long, but the gradual evolution of jaws in fish and the increase in their size turned them into rulers of the seas. Eventually, land vertebrates evolved from these jawed fish.
Jaws were one of the most important evolutionary innovations. As Swedish paleontologist Per ‘Alberg of Uppsala University stated, “the jaws they are important, because they allowed vertebrates to become active predators for the first time,” reports the Athenian-Macedonian News Agency.
Source: News Beast