Shark breakthrough: Fossil discovery stuns scientists on creature's marine ...

SHARKS evolutionary narrative could be flipped on its head after the remains of an ancient fish stunned researchers.

PUBLISHED: 15:09, Tue, Oct 6, 2020 | UPDATED: 15:09, Tue, Oct 6, 2020

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The newly discovered fossil, 410 millions years old, presents to scientists a groundbreaking question over the evolution of the modern-day shark. Covered in armour, the newest addition to marine historical understanding was discovered by an international team of researchers. It has since been named Minjinia turgenensis.

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Scientists have concluded that it belongs to a group of armoured fish called the placoderms.

Through extensive analysis, M. turgenensis is thought to be closely related to the last common ancestor of both sharks and bony fish.

When the team uncovered part of the fossil's skull, including its brain case, they found it was made entirely of bone.

This suggests that sharks may have first evolved with bone and then somewhere down the evolutionary line lost it again.

Archaeology: The fossils potentially change the evolutionary narrative of sharksArchaeology: The fossils potentially change the evolutionary narrative of sharks (Image: GETTY)

Science news: Myriad shark fossils have been found around the world usually off the coastScience news: Myriad shark fossils have been found around the world usually off the coast (Image: GETTY)

This is rather than keeping their initial cartilage state throughout their 400 million years of evolution.

Today, the majority of vertebrates have skeletons made of bone.

Sharks and their relatives, however, have lighter, more flexible skeletons made up of cartilage.

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Shark fossil: One of the largest shark jaw fossils on display in Las VegasShark fossil: One of the largest shark jaw fossils on display in Las Vegas (Image: GETTY)

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