Thursday, September 07, 2006


Oldest known fossilised eye capsules from jawed fishes

A University of Queensland researcher has uncovered the oldest known fossilised eye capsules from jawed fishes.

Palaeontologist Dr Carole Burrow, from UQ's School of Integrative Biology, discovered the 410 million-year-old specimens in central New South Wales, and her research is shedding new light on the evolution of eyes in early vertebrates.

"Even though they probably have no modern descendants, placoderms were the most primitive group of jawed fish, and their eyeballs give us an insight into what came before modern fish," Dr Burrow said.

Dr Burrow's research was also the first to use x-ray microtomography to investigate 3-D structure of small vertebrate fossils.

Previous work on the few other fossil eye capsules known have been based on visual examinations or fractured sections. [Fossilized, News, Tomography, NSW]
Based on the journal Micron paper "X-ray microtomography of 410 million-year-old optic capsules from placoderm fishes." (Abstract)

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