Your Jaw May Come From This Ancient Fish
Minnow-sized creature had something akin to one 500M years ago
By John Johnson, Newser Staff
Posted Jun 11, 2014 3:26 PM CDT
This undated artist rendering provided by the journal Nature shows a depiction of the Metaspriggina.   (AP Photo/Nature, Conway Morris, Jean-Bernard Caron, Marianne Collins)

(Newser) – Introducing Metaspriggina, a minnow-sized fish that lived about 500 million years ago and appears to occupy a crucial branch of your family tree. Scientists say the creature might just be the ancestor of nearly all vertebrates, reports LiveScience. The revelation comes after study of dozens of remarkably well-preserved Metaspriggina fossils found in the Canadian Rockies. Researchers discovered that the fish had a pair of gill arches near the front of its body that are the "primitive precursors of the jaw," reports the Toronto Star. It's the first time such a feature has been seen in the fossil record, reports PhysOrg.

“It was a major event in the evolution of vertebrates," says the co-author of a new report in Nature. "After the creation of jaws, vertebrates were able to capture prey and (chew) food." Metaspriggina also had something called a notochord, essentially cartilage that ran the length of its body. The New York Times notes that "human embryos develop a notochord, too, but it later turns into the disks of cartilage between the vertebrae in our spine." A British Columbia expert not involved with the work says the fish is "clearly a benchmark early vertebrate, which we haven't seen before."

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Jun 12, 2014 10:30 AM CDT
There is almost nothing funnier than reading/listening to creationists or those who are so incredibly brainwashed, and stupid that they will deny evolution without having even a clue as to how it actually works. Now I know why the right wing garners any votes at all. They will rip science while voicing their "opinions" on a COMPUTER which transmits their ignorance to the entire world! Unbelievable, lol! It's amazing to me that these people can even get out of bed and put on pants. Hey creationists, the only ones who give a crap about your invisible sky fairy are other brainwashed creationists who cannot think for themselves. The rest of us have grown up and out of fairy tales. While there is NO hope for creationists to suddenly become intelligent, it is only a matter of time until the fairy tale MYTHS are put to rest forever. Tick tock, superstitious MoFo's!
Jun 12, 2014 8:36 AM CDT
The funny thing is that this isn't even new evidence for evolution. This is evidence that we evolved from this particular fish. The underlying theory of evolution is the basis for nearly everything we know about biology. Disproving it is going to take more than an army of bible-thumping know-nothings. It would take one single shred of evidence to contradict the most well established concept in science. Every discovery is made in the light of Darwin. To bad the deniers dismiss science because the only way to overturn science is with more science.
Jun 11, 2014 10:50 PM CDT
"And he found a new jawbone of an ass, and put forth his hand, and took it, and slew a thousand men therewith. And Samson said, With the jawbone of an ass, heaps upon heaps, with the jaw of an ass have I slain a thousand men." - Judges 15:15, 16 If it were not for this minnow-sized fish man would not have been able to defend himself like it shows in "2001: A Space Odyssey." Man would not have been able to kill the lower capacity ape-men, or Ape would not have been able to kill Ape in the movie, "Battle For the Planet of the Apes." This shows the importance of this discovery.