Prehistoric fish brain, cast and fossil

Prehistoric fish brain, cast and fossil

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Credit: PASCAL GOETGHELUCK/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Prehistoric fish brain. Cast (left) of the brain found within a fossil (right) of the head of a fish that lived 300 million years ago. At the time (2009), this was the oldest fossil brain to have been discovered. The brain is seven millimetres long, and the cast was made with 3D printing using X-ray synchrotron microtomography scans that revealed the 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. Photographed at the French National Museum of Natural History, Paris, France.

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