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RE: Ancient Fish
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Fish with fingers are evolution's 'missing link'
Scientists studying the fossil of a fish that lived 385 million years think the discovery fills a gap in our knowledge about the development of fingers and toes.
In the past, it had been concluded that digits only developed after our ancestors made the jump from sea to land 380 million years ago.

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Researchers from the University of Hawaii, the Wildlife Conservation Society, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, National Marine Fisheries Service and Projecto Meros do Brazil discovered a new species of fish; a grouper that reaches more than six feet in length and can weigh nearly 1,000 pounds. This newly discovered species can be found roaming the tropical reefs of the Eastern Pacific Ocean.
Was the massive fish hiding among the corals and sea grass to evade marine biologists? No, it was just a case of mistaken identity, as explained in a recent genetic study in the journal Endangered Species Research.

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Wodnika
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A rare fossil of a prehistoric British shark joins the Natural History Museum palaeontology collections today.
The shark, which was discovered in Durham, is 240 million years old and is the only known complete specimen of the primitive shark genus Wodnika .

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Priceless 80m year old fossilised haddock discovered by pensioner 15 years after he picked it up from the beach

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Polypterus senegalus
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A suit of armour first worn by an African fish almost 100 million years ago to withstand ancient carnivores is today providing clues to engineers designing body armour for soldiers of the future.
The armour of the fish, Polypterus senegalus, is so effective because it is a composite of several materials lined up in a certain way, the engineers state in a their analysis detailed in the July 27 issue of the journal Nature Materials.

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Extremely Primitive Vocalisation
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Grunting fish have helped scientists to date the origins of speech to about 400 million years ago.
Toadfish and midshipman fish use a variety of different sounds to attract mates and scare off rivals.
Now US researchers have found that the area of a fish's brain that drives vocalisation is extremely primitive.

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Hidden away in museums for more that 100 years, some recently rediscovered flatfish fossils have filled a puzzling gap in the story of evolution and answered a question that initially stumped even Charles Darwin.
All adult flatfishes--including the gastronomically familiar flounder, plaice, sole, turbot, and halibut--have asymmetrical skulls, with both eyes located on one side of the head. Because these fish lay on their sides at the ocean bottom, this arrangement enhances their vision, with both eyes constantly in play, peering up into the water.
This remarkable arrangement arises during the youth of every flatfish, where the symmetrical larva undergoes a metamorphosis to produce an asymmetrical juvenile. One eye 'migrates' up and over the top of the head before coming to rest in the adult position on the opposite side of the skull.

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-- Edited by Blobrana at 19:45, 2008-07-09

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Actinolepis
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_44743764_fossilfish_snh_282.jpgThe first recorded fossil find in Scotland of a prehistoric armour plated fish has been made in a former roof slate quarry.
Actinolepis was found by an amateur collector some time ago, but was identified by experts after an image of it appeared on a website.
The discovery was made in Achanarras Quarry, near Halkirk, Caithness, a site owned by Scottish Natural Heritage.

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380 million year old fishes found with unborn embryos.
In 2005 Museum Victorias expedition to the Gogo fossil sites in north Western Australia, lead by Dr John Long, made a swag of spectacular fossil discoveries, including that of a complete fish, Gogonasus, showing unexpected features similar to early land animals.
Today the team announced its latest discovery: a remarkable 375 million year old fossil placoderm fish with intact embryo and mineralised umbilical cord.

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An Australian scientist has gone one step further in debunking intelligent design (ID) by discovering evidence of an evolutionary forerunner to the modern eye.
Dr Gavin Young from the Australian National University discovered the evidence while analysing the fossilised remains of 400-million-year-old Devonian Placoderms - jawed ancestors of modern fish that were protected by thick bony armour.
Unlike all modern vertebrates, Dr Young discovered that the placoderms had a different arrangement of muscles and nerves supporting the eyeball, evidence of an intermediate stage in the evolution between jawless and jawed vertebrates.

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