Research on an ancient fish hints at how modern faces evolved

A new study by French and Swedish researchers sheds light on the evolution of the face as we know it today, all thanks to a long-gone fish. 410 million years ago, a tiny fish called the Romundina evolved separate left and right nostrils that were behind its lips, a feature that was halfway between jawed and jawless creatures. The study, which was published in Nature, fills in the blanks of how the transformation came to be by X-raying fossils of the Romundina’s skull procured from Canada. What it found was that the jaw came first, followed by separate nostrils, a shrinking upper lip and a protruding nose. “This skull is a mix of primitive and modern features, making it an invaluable intermediate fossil between jawless and jawed…

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