420 million-year-old fish fossil found in SW China

Updated 2017-03-12 12:17:44 Agencies

The fossil of an ancient fish species dating back to 420 million years ago was found recently by Chinese scientists in Qujing city of Yunnan province, Xinhua News Agency reports.

The fish, called Sparalepis tingi, is about 20 centimeters long, and has unusual scales like a suit of armor. It shows that the earth may have entered the “Age of Fishes” in the latter part of the Silurian Period (443.7 - 419.2 million years ago), instead of the popularly accepted Devonian Period (419.2 - 358.9 million years ago).

The discovery was published on Wednesday in the open-access journal PLOS ONE. Zhu Min, author of the article and a researcher from the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, said the discovery offered new fossil evidence for exploring the early diversification for the jawed vertebrates and the origin of bony fishes.

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