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 holding the fossil fish head within which was found the oldest fossil brain discovered at the time (2009). This fossil is of the head of a fish that lived 300 million years ago. The brain is seven millimetres long, and was discovered with X-ray synchrotron microtomography scans that revealed the 3D structure of the skull, the endocranium, and the brain deep within the fossil. This fish is an iniopterygian, an extinct relative of ratfishes (ghost sharks). The fossil was found in shales in Kansas and Oklahoma, USA. The work was carried out by palaeontologists at the French National Museum of Natural History, Paris, France.

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