Scientists Discover 380 Million-Year-Old Heart, Stunningly Preserved

06:38 16/09/2022

A 380-million-year-old fish heart found in a piece of Australian sediment is making scientists beat faster. Not only is this organ in remarkable condition, it may also hold clues to the evolution of jawed vertebrates, including you and me.

A 380-million-year-old fish heart found in a piece of Australian sediment is making scientists beat faster. Not only is this organ in remarkable condition, it may also hold clues to the evolution of jawed vertebrates, including you and me.

The heart belonged to an extinct class of armored jawed fish called arthrodires that flourished during the Devonian period between 419.2 million and 358.9 million years ago, and is a good 250 million years older than the heart of the jawed fish that currently houses” the oldest” title. But despite the fish being so archaic, the arrangement of its double-chambered S-shaped ticker led researchers to discover a surprising anatomical similarity between ancient swimmers and modern sharks.

“Evolution is often presented as a series of small steps, but these ancient fossils suggest that there was a big leap between jawless and jawed vertebrates,” says Professor Keith Trinajstick, a vertebrate paleontologist at Curtin University of Australia and co-author of the new study. to conclusions. “These fish literally have a heart in their mouths and under their gills — just like modern sharks,” Trinajstick said.

The study appeared in the journal Science on Wednesday.

The scientists were able to get a better look at the exact location of the organ because they were able to observe it in relation to the petrified stomach, intestines, and liver of the fish, which is rare.

“I can’t tell you how truly amazed I was to discover a three-dimensional and perfectly preserved heart and other organs in this ancient fossil,” Trinajstick said.

The white ring shows the spiral valves of the intestine, but the heart is not visible here. “I was absolutely blown away by the fact that we were actually able to see the soft tissues preserved in such an ancient fish,” says John Long, professor of paleontology at Flinders University in Australia and co-author of the new study on the find. “I knew right away that this was a very important find.”

John Long/Flinders University

Paleontologists discovered the fossil during a 2008 expedition to the Go-Go Formation in Western Australia, and it adds to a wealth of information from the site, including the origin of teeth and understanding of the transition from fin to limbs. The GoGo Formation, a sedimentary deposit in the Kimberley region of Western Australia, is known for its rich fossil record of Devonian Paleozoic reef life, including relics of delicate tissue such as nerves and umbilical cord embryos.

Anatomy of an arthrodire.

“Most cases of soft tissue preservation are found in oblate fossils, where the soft anatomy is nothing more than a stain on a stone,” said study co-author Prof Per Ahlberg of Uppsala University in Sweden. “We are also very fortunate that modern scanning techniques allow us to study these fragile soft tissues without destroying them. A couple of decades ago, this project would have been impossible.”

These techniques include neutron beams and X-ray microtomography, which create cross-sections of physical objects that can then be used to recreate virtual 3D models.

Recent finds of fish fossils shed light how endangered ‘dinosaur fish’ stand on their heads how much does a prehistoric lizard fish cost looks like flipper the dolphin.

And study co-author Ahlberg has a reminder for those who might not consider such findings significant: life, at its most fundamental level, is an evolving system.

“The fact that we ourselves and all other living organisms with which we share the planet developed from a common ancestor in the process of evolution is not an accidental fact,” Ahlberg said. “This is the deepest truth of our existence. We are all connected in the most literal sense.”

Tin liên quan

14.6 BILLION MILES AWAY, NASA GETS VOYAGER 1 TALKING AGAIN — AND

NASA’S VOYAGER 1 is on a fraught and unknowable journey into deep space. Some 14.6 billion miles from Earth, it and its sister craft, Voyager 2, are the furthest human-made objects from our planet, having made it beyond the edges of the Solar System and out into the interstellar medium.

lên đầu trang