Birth of jaws: Tiny fish may be ancient ancestor

January 13, 2015 2:45 PM

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Birth of jaws: Tiny fish may be ancient ancestor

The 415-million-year-old fish fossil (Janusiscus schultzei) has a well-developed external skeleton (shown in blue), a feature that is seen in the common ancestor of bony fish and cartilaginous fishes, such as sharks. (Sam Giles. Placoderm image courtesy of K. Trinajstic)

The remains of a 415-million-year-old fish skull from Siberia though miniscule in size offer hints about the origins of all jawed vertebrates, ranging from reptiles to humans, a new study finds.

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