HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Scientists find lamprey a 'living fossil'

Scientists from the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa, and the University of Chicago have uncovered a remarkably well-preserved fossil lamprey from the Devonian period that reveals today's lampreys as "living fossils" since they have remained largely unaltered for 360 million years.

Chicago's Michael Coates, PhD, joined Witwatersrand's Bruce Rubidge, PhD, and graduate student and lead author Rob Gess to describe the new find in the article, "A lamprey from the Devonian of South Africa" to be published in the Oct. 26, 2006, issue of Nature.

"Apart from being the oldest fossil lamprey yet discovered, this fossil shows that lampreys have been parasitic for at least 360 million years," said Rubidge, director of the Bernard Price Institute for Palaeontological Research.

Lampreys are long, eel-like parasites that attach themselves to and feed on other fish. Of the 46,000 known species of vertebrates, lampreys and hagfish are the only surviving jawless vertebrates. Lampreys are the most "primitive" of the vertebrates, meaning that they are the least changed from the first vertebrates. Besides lacking jaws, lampreys have no paired pectoral and pelvic fins, and no scales.

"This fossil changes how we look at lampreys today," said Coates, associate professor of organismal biology and anatomy. "They're very ancient, very primitive animals, yet with highly specialized feeding habits."

It reveals that the anatomical evolution of lampreys is more conservative than scientists thought, Coates added. Although they've gotten slightly longer, they specialized early and successfully and thus appeared to have stayed much the same for the past 360 million years.

"This discovery is a monument to the dedication and passion of [Gess], who has spent many months patiently excavating and unearthing the elusive secrets from the prehistoric past," Rubidge said.

Gess found the new specimen, Priscomyzon rinien
'"/>

Contact: Catherine Gianaro
catherine.gianaro@uchospitals.edu
773-702-6241
University of Chicago Medical Center
25-Oct-2006


Page: 1 2 3 4

Related biology news :

1. Scientists show that mitochondrial DNA variants are linked to risk factors for type 2 diabetes
2. Scientists prove that disputed Korean stem cell line comes from an unfertilized egg and not cloning
3. Scientists move closer to bio-engineered bladders
4. Scientists find stem cell switch
5. Scientists discover new way to study nanostructures
6. Scientists a step closer to understanding how anaesthetics work in the brain
7. Scientists to make news at Computational Biology Conference
8. Accident-prone? Scientists link brain function to knee injuries
9. Scientists take next step in understanding potential target for ovarian cancer treatment
10. Scientists find brown fat master switch
11. Scientists identify 2 distinct Parkinsons networks

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:10/29/2019)... ... October 29, 2019 , ... Fujirebio Diagnostics, Inc., a ... (FDA) clearance of the company’s Lumipulse® G whole PTH Assay for testing on ... by the parathyroid glands; which are four small glands located behind the thyroid ...
(Date:10/26/2019)... ... October 23, 2019 , ... ... Automated Cell Imaging System including Digital Confocal 2D on-the-fly deconvolution, Live Preview ... allows scientists to decrease exposure time and improve the statistical significance of ...
(Date:10/26/2019)... YORK (PRWEB) , ... October 24, 2019 , ... World ... opportunity for parents, doctors, nurses, and midwives to learn about the current and future ... lives. , Cord blood is now being used to treat and cure over 80 ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/17/2019)... ... October 15, 2019 , ... ... services that offer DNA Testing for health and/or genealogy research purposes. , There ... it seems that people want to know more about themselves at a cellular ...
(Date:10/10/2019)... ... October 09, 2019 , ... As ... County middle school and high school students have improved neuro-cognitive executive skills to ... and physical fitness, and apply lifelong social/interpersonal, leadership, problem-solving and coping skills, due ...
(Date:10/8/2019)... (PRWEB) , ... October 07, 2019 , ... ... of low level laser therapy technology (“3LT®”), today announces that the U.S. Food ... its EVRL low level laser for the temporary relief of chronic neck and ...
(Date:10/3/2019)... ... October 02, 2019 , ... Today marked the official ... enabling clinical program outsourcing success by cultivating radical improvements in leadership, staff, and ... executive Brenda Reese, phaseUP™ brings clients deep, broad and unique expertise in the ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: