Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

A new species of marine fish from 408 million years ago discovered in Teruel

04.06.2013
Researchers from the University of Valencia and the Natural History Museum of Berlin have studied the fossilised remains of scales and bones found in Teruel and the south of Zaragoza, ascertaining that they belong to a new fish species called Machaeracanthus goujeti that lived in that area of the peninsula during the Devonian period. The fossils are part of the collection housed in the Palaeontology Museum of Zaragoza.
In the journal 'Geodiversitas', a research team led by the University of Valencia describes a new species of spiny shark (Acanthodii), a primitive type of fish that shared characteristics with sharks and bony fish.

Remains of scales, bones and scapular joint bones were found in Devonian (approximately 408 million years ago) in Teruel and the south of Zaragoza. The paper also includes an analysis of fossils of a fragmented spine and isolated scales from the Lower Devonian found in northern Spain (Palencia and Cantabrian Mountains) and western France (Saint-Céneré commune), originally attributed to the Machaeracanthus sp species.

"The discovery of this new species, which we call Machaeracanthus goujeti and belongs to the Acanthodii group –of which very little is known–, expands our knowledge of the biodiversity that existed on the peninsula 480 million years ago, when the modern-day region of Teruel was covered by the sea," Héctor Botella, professor in the palaeontology unit in the University of Valencia and the study's lead author, explained to SINC.

The Acanthodii group of fish are also known as 'spiny sharks' owing to their appearance and, from what we know to date, they only lived during the Palaeozoic Era and reached their maximum level of diversity in the Devonic period.

However, the bones typically found in the Acanthodii group grow differently to the bones found, therefore this type could be even more similar to sharks and would date from the very early stages of the radiation of jawed vertebrates (gnathostomata).

A fish fossil no more than one metre in length
The majority of the samples found by the researchers are juveniles. Based on the fossilised remains, the researchers estimate that the largest fish in this species would not reach one metre in length. "This is just an estimation because there are animals that can have large bones and be small, and vice versa," Botella stated.

For their part, the fossils found in the sediment layers of the Iberian mountain range must surely have belonged to fish that swam close to the coast. "In other words, they must have lived in an epicontinental sea –an extensive but shallow salt water mass–, and it is therefore possible that this area was used as a breeding ground," he concludes. Larger fossils were found in sediment layers a little further down.

The fossils form part of the collection housed in the Palaeontology Museum of Zaragoza.


References:
Héctor Botella, Carlos Martínez-Pérez, Rodrigo Soler-Gijón "Machaeracanthus goujeti n. sp. (Acanthodii) from the Lower Devonian of Spain and northwest France, with special reference to spine histology", Geodiversitas, 34(4):761-783, 2013.

SINC | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.agenciasinc.es

Further reports about: Acanthodii Machaeracanthus goujeti Palaeontology Teruel Zaragoza new species

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology
22.06.2017 | Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft

nachricht How reliable are shells as climate archives?
21.06.2017 | Leibniz-Zentrum für Marine Tropenforschung (ZMT)

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Quantum thermometer or optical refrigerator?

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A 100-year-old physics problem has been solved at EPFL

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Equipping form with function

23.06.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>