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Metaspriggina swimming

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Published on Jun 11, 2014

Animation © Phlesch Bubble

A key piece in the puzzle of the evolution of vertebrates has been identified after the discovery of fossilized fish specimens, dating from the Cambrian period (around 505 million-years old), in the Canadian Rockies. This fish, which bears the scientific name "Metaspriggina", shows a series of exceptionally well-preserved branchial arches near the fish's head. It is the first pair, closest to the head, that eventually leads to the evolution of jaws in vertebrates, and is a remarkable feature to see for the first time this early in the fossil record.

More info at: www.rom.on.ca

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