Prehistoric fish brain, fossil research

Prehistoric fish brain, fossil research

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Credit: PASCAL GOETGHELUCK/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

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Caption: Prehistoric fish brain. Hand of a palaeontologist from the French National Museum of Natural History, holding the fossil containing the oldest fossil brain discovered at the time (2009). The brain (cast at lower centre) is seven millimetres long, and is from a fish that lived 300 million years ago. Larger (magnified) casts of parts of the fossil are across top (left to right): skull, brain, endocranial cavity. These casts were made from scanning data (X-ray synchrotron microtomography) using a 3D printer. This fish is an iniopterygian, an extinct relative of ratfishes (ghost sharks). The fossil is from shales in Kansas and Oklahoma, USA.

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