Everything You Should Know About the Oldest Fish Fossil Ever Found

Iris | 01 - 03 - 2023

Everything happens for a reason. That was how a little kung-fu kick led to the discovery of the oldest complete fish fossil! In 2019, three paleontologists in Chongqing province, China, went on to discover the oldest fish fossil ever found, in its complete form, by accident. While the trio was having a playful kung-fu fight, one was kicked into a rock formation. The impact caused the rocks to fall off, where they discovered the first oldest fish fossil ever found in its complete form.

Facts about the oldest fish fossil ever found

The discovery was a breakthrough in Paleontology as the fish fossil could pave way for numerous possibilities on how prehistoric organisms lived.

  • The fossil fish is oldest creature with face found yet
  • The fossil was of a jawed fish that lived on Earth around 439 million years ago
  • Paleontologists from all over the world were surprised by the news as the remains were the oldest fish fossil ever found 
  • This fossil is 11 million years older than the one found earlier
  • The oldest fish fossil ever found suggests that the emergence of jawed fish was many years earlier than researchers assumed

Evolution of fish fossil

Fishes in prehistoric earth started to evolve about 530 million years ago. The Cambrian explosion likely triggered the process in fish. The Cambrian explosion is the time on earth when a large group of animals first appeared on the planet. These fishes, also known as Agnatha, were organisms with spinal columns, gills, and without a jaw. It is notable that fishes are the first vertebrates to live on earth.

Where was the oldest fish fossil found?
  • A. Japan
  • B. China
  • C. Taiwan
  • D. Philippines

Over the course of years, fishes slowly started developing other predominant parts like fins and also developed highly functional gills. The gills helped fishes absorb oxygen and assisted in breathing.

550 million years ago – Earliest vertebrates lived on earth.

450 million years ago – Fishes with jaws and bodies resembling the structure of a shark were present.

50 million years ago – The evolution of fish fossils saw the emergence of bony fish.

Hope the facts and information have quenched your thirst for knowledge on fish fossils. Check out the quiz to test your memory now!

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