Australia's exceptional Palaeozoic fossil fishes, and a Gondwana origin for land vertebrates

  • Young, Gavin (PI)
  • Long, John (CoI)

    Project: Research

    Project Details

    Description

    Exceptionally preserved 370-400 million-year-old fish skulls and braincases from Australia display internal structures not known in any living vertebrate species. They provide detailed new evidence on the structure of muscles and nerves controlling the sense organs and jaws in ancestral jawed vertebrates, implying that the first land animals evolved some 30 million years earlier than previously thought, possibly on the Gondwana supercontinent. We will use new techniques on prepared fossils (CAT scanning, 3D imaging of internal structures), and investigate a spectacular new vertebrate locality, exposed by the 2003 bushfires near Canberra, for evidence of the oldest land vertebrates from Australia.
    StatusFinished
    Effective start/end date1/01/0531/12/08

    Funding

    • Australian Research Council (ARC): A$280,000.00

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