Jul 19, 2019 | Updated: 09:53 AM EDT

This 423-Million-Year Old Ancient Fish Of Southern China May Have Evolved Prior To The 'Age Of Fish'

Mar 09, 2017 05:25 PM EST

Ancient Fish Species Had Hind Legs
(Photo : GeoBeats News/Youtube) According to a study of fossils from around 375 million years ago, an ancient species of fish had hind legs, which may have been used to walk underwater.

Scientists have discovered an ancient fish species that may have evolved prior to the “Age of Fish”. This newly discovered fossil indicate that creature had unusual teeth and scales. Researchers described that they belong to the family of the Kuanti formation.

A group of researchers from Flinders University, Australia and the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology, China led by Brian Choo has found the fossil from Southern China. By using radioactive carbon dating process researchers found that the fossil is 423 million years from the Silurian period. According to Mail Online, this period is far before the beginning of Devonian Period (419.2 -- 358.9 million years ago) which is commonly known as the “Age of Fishes”.

Researchers names this species as Sparalepsis, it has spine-bearing pectoral and pelvic girdles. It is the second Silurian bony fish that will be described on the basis of discovered isolated fragments. Recent discoveries of Kunati formation has totally changed the conventional thought about the evolution of today’s armored placoderm fishes. Their findings were first published in the journal of PLOS One.

However, Guiyu and the extinct Psarolepis are also known to have these features. It was thought to be that the new species and its relatives may be the ancient cousins of modern lungfish but, newly discovered some peculiar feathers that were no expected fro a species of that period.

They have thick and narrow tall scales, in front, those scales have interlocking mechanisms on the inner and outer surfaces. The closely packed squamation was packed together like a wall of shields. This is one of the main reason to give the genus its name Sparalepsis. It is a combination of ancient Persian and Greek, meaning ‘shield scale.’ Lead author Brian Choo wrote in his study,“recent discoveries from South China and Vietnam suggest a greater diversity of late Silurian jawed vertebrates than has been previously been recognized”.

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