A team of researchers found a 380 million year old heart, and that it has a detail that left them amazed. However, its importance in the analysis of evolution, even humans.
The organ belongs to an extinct class of vertebrate fishcalled arthrodiers who swam between 419 and 358 million years ago back in the gogo-training; the remains of an ancient reef system in northwestern Australia.
Scientists from the University of Curtin (Australia) pointed out that this is one of the most important discoveries, as it will provide valuable information on the evolutionary transition on the line at jawed vertebrates living, including mammals and humans.
fossilized prehistoric heart
The stunning discovery has become the oldest heart known to science. Experts found the fossil inside a 380 million year old jawed fish.
Fish museum exhibit model whose fossils contain the oldest preserved heart ever discovered. Credit: Curtin University.
Surprisingly, next to the heart was also found its stomach, intestine and liver in the same state of fossilization.
It should be noted that the organ is 250 million years older, than the heart of earlier vertebrates found in Brazil in 2018.
What surprised scientists the most was that the heart is so well preserved that it contains soft tissue.
Another detail that has strongly attracted attention is that, although it is more than 300 million years old, its anatomy it is not so different from that of modern sharks.
A 3D model of the heart was presented, which it’s s-shapedand it was found that he has 2 cameras; a smaller one, located above a larger one.
Researchers have found incredible details about the heart, including the ventricles and atria. Credit: Trinajstic et al., Science, 2022.
Experts clarified that the location of the organs of this creature is very similar to that of large marine predators. Something that also helps to understand its evolution.
understand the evolution
These characteristics, according to experts, were developed in the first vertebrates, offering unique information on the evolution of the head and neck area, to locate the jaw in the best possible position. An essential step in the evolution of the human body.
Kate Trinajsticresearch director and expert at the Curtin School of Molecular and Life Sciences and at the Western Australian Museum, declared what is it the first time found a 380 million year old 3D heart therefore preserved.
“Evolution is often seen as a series of small stepsbut these ancient fossils suggest that there was a big jump between vertebrates without jaws and vertebrates with jaws.
Trinajstic and his team performed sophisticated techniques of neutron beams and synchrotron X-rays; showing the heart, located very close to the throat, in the shape of an “S” and its 2 cavities.
Kate Trinajstic inspects fish fossils dating back 380 million years at the Western Australian Museum in Perth, Australia. Credit: Curtin University/via REUTERS.
Such features in early vertebrates confirm the significant changes that occurred in the head and neck of animals. prehistoric vertebrates to locate their jaws.
You might also be interested in: They discover the remains of a previously unknown human species.
In addition to the heart, a very large liver was also found, which allowed it to float, just like modern sharks. Although unknown if they had lungs, organs currently believed to have developed later.
The evolution, both of man and of the rest of the species that inhabit the Earth, remains an enigma. Darwin paved the way for us to understand how this process worked, but we still have a long way to go.
The finding was published in the scientific journal Science.
References: Clarin / National Geographic.
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