Fancy primal fish are different from all animals in Earth's history

Fancy primal fish are different from all animals in Earth's history

Paleontologists in China have discovered the remains of a shark-like fish aged 439 million years, some of which distinguish it from any known vertebrate in Earth's history.

Scientists have discovered the remains of a newly identified extinct species in the Junsi formation, where fossils are often found in Guizhou Province in southern China, and the species Fanjingshania renovata is named after the nearby mountain known as Fanjingshan.

A team of scientists gathered thousands of fossilized skeleton fragments, scales and teeth, and then carefully recreated the species of ancient fish, their findings published online in Nature magazine.

F. renovata belongs to an extinct group of shark-like creatures known as acantodes, also known as puncture sharks; they have prickly fins and bone plates surrounding their humerus areas.

The genealogical fish of acantodes lie somewhere between the hondrichtians, which include modern sharks and skates, and osteikhtians, or bony fishes. Acantodes have a body structure similar to the shark, but their bones and skeletons look like skeletons of boney fish. Researchers suspect that F. renovata may be a close relative of an unknown common ancestor of two groups.