Friday, October 27, 2006

 

Scientists Find Lamprey a 'Living Fossil' 360 Million-year-old Fish Hasn't Evolved Much

Scientists from the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa, and the University of Chicago have uncovered a remarkably well-preserved fossil lamprey from the Devonian period that reveals today's lampreys as "living fossils" since they have remained largely unaltered for 360 million years.

Chicago's Michael Coates (homepage), PhD, joined Witwatersrand's Bruce Rubidge, PhD, and graduate student and lead author Rob Gess to describe the new find in the article, "A lamprey from the Devonian of South Africa" to be published in the October 26, 2006, issue of the journal Nature.

"Apart from being the oldest fossil lamprey yet discovered, this fossil shows that lampreys have been parasitic for at least 360 million years," said Rubidge, director of the Bernard Price Institute for Palaeontological Research.

Continued at "Scientists Find Lamprey a 'Living Fossil' 360 Million-year-old Fish Hasn't Evolved Much"
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Based on "A lamprey from the Devonian period of South Africa" (Abstract - Full Text is also currently available but Nature have a tendency to change their minds!)

Books on 'Evolution and Fish' from the Science and Evolution Bookshop: UK | US

Also see "100-million-year-old lamprey fossil discovered in China" (China View - Xinhua)

From the Washington Post: "Lampreys evolve very little"

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