|Beyond the age of fishes|
Coates, M.I. (2009). Beyond the age of fishes. Nature (Lond.) 458(7237): 413-414
In: Nature: International Weekly Journal of Science. Nature Publishing Group: London. ISSN 0028-0836, more
The discovery of an exceptionally well-preserved fossil from the Silurian of southern China illuminates an early stage in the evolutionary history of the bony fishes that was previously documented almost exclusively from fossil fragments. At over 418 million years old, this new form is the earliest known well-preserved bony fish, and is a basal member of the lobe-finned fish lineage — which includes, today, the lungfish, coelacanths and all land vertebrates. It shows the expected mix of derived and primitive features. This means that the split between ray-finned and lobe-finned bony fishes must have happened at least 419 million years ago, suggesting a deep history for jawed vertebrates.