Scientists Find Lamprey A ‘Living Fossil’: 360 Million-year-old Fish Hasn’t Evolved Much

Posted by Chris Parker
Oct 27 2006

 

“And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven. And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good.

And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth. And the evening and the morning were the fifth day”…Genesis 1 

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.

“It (the fossil) 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.”

The scientists 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. (Image courtesy of University of Chicago Medical Center)

 

One Response

  1. [...] short time ago (November, 2006,) South African scientists reported finding a supposedly 360 million year old fossil lamphrey. The problem for evolutionary theory is; the fossil lamprey is virtually identical to "present day" [...]

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