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Australia: a very rare discovery that fascinates paleontologists

Australia: a very rare discovery that fascinates paleontologists


yoAn unusual discovery. nothing less. On September 15, Australian paleontologists described an extraordinary find in the specialized journal Science. A few weeks ago, they discovered arthropods, a type of fish whose order died out several hundred million years ago. In addition to the fact that the fossils belong to one of the first vertebrates known on Earth, the fossils still contain the “soft tissues” of the specimens, in other words their organs: the heart, liver, stomach or intestines, for example. As if that weren’t enough, these fossils are among the oldest ever discovered by humans.

An unprecedented discovery welcomes the researchers who have mobilized to study the fossils. “For the first time, we can observe all the organs of jawed vertebrates. The cores of these fish are in their mouths and under their gills, just like sharks today,” Kate Triangstick told the magazine. Australian Geographic. Moreover, thanks to modern technologies, it will not be necessary to break the excavation to observe the internal parts of the unearthed pieces.

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Research to better understand modern sharks and fish

We must realize that from a scientific point of view, this discovery is a hypothetical revolution. According to the results of the researchers’ analyzes, we can now find out how the heads of the first vertebrates were able to adapt to the appearance of the jaws, which is still unknown. Especially since examining these fossils can make it possible to learn more about a species that is still alive: sharks! The possibility of examining the internal organs of arthropods, together with these fossils, could make it possible to understand how modern sharks managed to maintain their buoyancy thanks to their majestic liver.

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Another line of research is the lungs of modern bony fish. “We found no evidence of lungs in the choroidal skin that we examined, indicating that they developed independently from later bony fish,” she explains. Do these excavations allow us to lift the veil? Only the future will tell

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