May 21, 2019 | Updated: 12:07 PM EDT

Amphioxus, A Brainless & Faceless Fish Is Not Brainless At All But A Clue To Brain Evolution

Jun 04, 2017 10:09 AM EDT

Amphioxus, A Living Fossil And Is Clue To Brain Evolution
(Photo : TREY the Explainer /Youtube) Amphioxus, A Living Fossil And Is Clue To Brain Evolution

An amphioxus which was previously thought as a brainless and faceless fish was recently examined and found significant. The fish is not brainless at all, but it is a clue to vertebrates' brain evolution.

International researchers from the University of St. Andrews examined an ancient sea creature, the amphioxus otherwise known as Lancelet. However, it's not how it looks that is important, but how it's very complex brain was found to be significant in the brain evolution of vertebrates.

According to, the amphioxus was discovered in 2011 off the coast of Scotland. Unknowingly, the amphioxus will provide details on how evolution formed the modern brain. The latest research on the amphioxus brain which was published in PLoS Biology, explains how its brain is compared with the current brains present in vertebrates today.

Currently, it is believed that the complex brain of vertebrates has evolved from three different brain parts such as the forebrain, midbrain, and hindbrain. However, with the help of amphioxus' brain, a new research was derived that the brain of vertebrates has formed from two parts instead of three.

Co-author of the study, Dr. Ildiko Somorjai from the School of Biology at the University of St. Andrews said, "The amphioxus is such an amazing creature that can tell us a lot about how we have evolved. Unlike animals, humans have enormous brains with such a large number of anatomical subdivisions that allow us to process complex information from the environment as well as of the behavior and motor control and language."

The amphioxus though described as a brainless and faceless fish was found very worthy. It is also though as the first kind of animals to have evolved having the structure which is similar to a backbone or the notochord. And even though it looks like a fish, an amphioxus is not a fish but can be described as a living fossil after having a few change for hundreds of millions of years.

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