Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

400 m year old fossils show how fish may have started to walk

07.07.2006
The oldest fossilised fish trails ever recorded have been found in red sandstone in a Welsh quarry. These marks preserved in stone give tantalising insights into how the landscape must have looked 400 m years ago, and how some of the earliest life-forms may have moved from water to land.

Researchers from the University of the West of England have found the fish trails in rocks that were once a riverbed, but are now in the heart of the Brecon Beacons. The site of the sandstone quarry was once a river, and the landscape would have been very different from today – instead of moors and hills, there would have been semi-desert around a wide, shallow water course.

A new Research-TV film called Follow that Fish! shows the researchers investigating the fossils in the sandstone. One group of fish, the cephalaspids, looks unlike any freshwater fish known today, with a unique, horseshoe-shaped head shield and a very different arrangement of fins. Dr Susan Marriott, a floodplain specialist from UWE’s Faculty of the Built Environment, believes the fossilised trails, in what was once river sediment, could unlock the mystery of how these fish moved.

She said: “One of the most important things at this time in geological history was the emergence of life from a watery environment into a land environment. We have found fossils and the traces of the animals that made them, from which we can make inferences about the environment the animals lived in and link it to the evolution of life on land.”

For the film, UWE researcher Lance Morrissey from the School of Geography and Environmental Management suggested that animators from UWE’s School of Animation draw moving sequences, based on the trails left behind and preserved in stone, to show how these early vertebrates may have behaved. The fish making the trails appear to have used their pectoral fins to rest on the sediment before taking off – this could be the start of rudimentary limbs that would one day walk on land.

He said: “The Old Red Sandstone was well known for preserving the fossils of the fish. But the fish trails and their significance have never been recorded before.”

Lesley Drake | alfa
Further information:
http://www.research-tv.com/stories/science/fishtrails/
http://www.uwe.ac.uk

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht Massive impact crater from a kilometer-wide iron meteorite discovered in Greenland
15.11.2018 | Faculty of Science - University of Copenhagen

nachricht The unintended consequences of dams and reservoirs
14.11.2018 | Uppsala University

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: UNH scientists help provide first-ever views of elusive energy explosion

Researchers at the University of New Hampshire have captured a difficult-to-view singular event involving "magnetic reconnection"--the process by which sparse particles and energy around Earth collide producing a quick but mighty explosion--in the Earth's magnetotail, the magnetic environment that trails behind the planet.

Magnetic reconnection has remained a bit of a mystery to scientists. They know it exists and have documented the effects that the energy explosions can...

Im Focus: A Chip with Blood Vessels

Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.

Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...

Im Focus: A Leap Into Quantum Technology

Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.

In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...

Im Focus: Research icebreaker Polarstern begins the Antarctic season

What does it look like below the ice shelf of the calved massive iceberg A68?

On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.

Im Focus: Penn engineers develop ultrathin, ultralight 'nanocardboard'

When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure

Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call "nanocardboard," an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard. A square...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

“3rd Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP 2018” Attracts International Experts and Users

09.11.2018 | Event News

On the brain’s ability to find the right direction

06.11.2018 | Event News

European Space Talks: Weltraumschrott – eine Gefahr für die Gesellschaft?

23.10.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Purdue cancer identity technology makes it easier to find a tumor's 'address'

16.11.2018 | Health and Medicine

Good preparation is half the digestion

16.11.2018 | Life Sciences

Microscope measures muscle weakness

16.11.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>