NANFA-- story about a distant relative of mine

Shireen Gonzaga (
Mon, 17 Jan 2000 13:12:54 -0500

Hi... here's a neat story about a distant relative of mine! - sg

Australia fish fossil may be distant human relative
Monday, January 17, 2000

A 400-million-year-old fossilized fish recently discovered
near an Australian dam may be one of the human race's
earliest relatives, according to researchers at the
Australian Museum in Canberra.

Museum research fellow Alex Ritchie said the fossil's brain
case showed the fish had an eyestalk connecting its eye with
its brain. It was the first fish of its type to be preserved well
enough to show this.

Ritchie said in a statement it was probably a primitive type
of ray-finned fish. Previously, it was thought only archaic
armored fish and some primitive sharks had eyestalks.

He said the fish could be part of the lineage that not only
led to ray-finned fish, but also to land vertebrates and

"It's not only one of the oldest specimens, but it's also the
first specimen that could be affiliated with us as well," a
spokeswoman from the museum told Reuters.

Museum staff discovered the fish fossil about six months
ago on the shore of a dam in the tiny southern town of Wee
Jasper in the state of New South Wales.

The area is believed to have been the site of a reef 400
million years ago.

Copyright 2000, Reuters
All Rights Reserved

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