Is the shark a common ancestor of humans and fish?
Recent studies have revealed that humans may have evolved from a shark that dates back to 300 million years ago.
As research continues, more and more evidence is discovered that points our ancestral lines to a prehistoric shark that existed in a time when fish with cartilage and fish with bones (what humans are said to evolve from) were not separated into two different evolutionary lineages, yet.
The primitive fish named Acanthodes bronni was the common ancestor of all jawed vertebrates on Earth – including mankind, according to new research.
Acanthodes, a Greek word for “spiny”, existed before the split between the earliest sharks and the first bony fishes – the lineage that would eventually include human beings.
Fossils have been found in Europe, North America and Australia.
Compared with other spiny sharks it was relatively large, measuring a foot long. It had gills instead of teeth, large eyes and lived on plankton.
Professor Michael Coates, a biologist at the University of Chicago, said: “Unexpectedly, Acanthodes turns out to be the best view we have of conditions in the last common ancestor of bony fishes and sharks.
“Our work is telling us the earliest bony fishes looked pretty much like sharks, and not vice versa. What we might think of as shark space is, in fact, general modern jawed vertebrate space.”
Read more at telegraph.co.uk/news
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