Rare 380-million-year-old fossil discovered in Australia

“It is very rare to find well-preserved soft tissue from ancient species”

The fossilized heart of an ancient jawed fish, 380 million years old, has been discovered in the Gogo Formation in Western Australia. Besides this well-preserved organ, a liver, a stomach and an intestine were also found. Scientists are convinced that the discovery could inform knowledge about the evolution of other species, including the human species.

The fossil was discovered by researchers at Curtin University in Perth, Australia. According to published findings, the origin of the organ dates back to the Devonian period, around 419 million years ago and which lasted until 359 million years before our era.

“As a paleontologist who has been studying fossils for more than 20 years, I was amazed to find an incredibly well-preserved heart in an animal around 380 million years old,” enthused Professor Kate Trinajstic, responsible researches. She added that “it is very rare to find well-preserved soft tissue from ancient species.”

“For the first time, we can see all the organs together in a primitive jawed fish. We were particularly surprised to find that they weren’t so different from us,” she said.

Professor John Long, from Flinders University in Australia, who was involved in the research, said the find was “every paleontologist’s dream”. Regarding the Gogo Formation in Western Australia, where the fossils were found, he said it is “one of the most important fossil sites in the world”.

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