Photo: Oldest Fossil Brain Found in "Bizarre" Prehistoric Fish



Digital x-ray images of a "bizarre" 300 million-year-old shark relative revealed the oldest known fossilized brain, a March 2009 study said.

The fish, called an iniopterygian (artist rendering above, fossil specimen below), had a pea-size brain much smaller than the braincase itself. This is similar to modern sharks, rays, and chimaera fish, whose brain growth slows as they age, even as the rest of their bodies expand.

Artist's rendering courtesy P. Janvier; photograph of the fossil courtesy Alan Pradel


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