Sacabambaspis, a 460 million year old jawless relative of modern jawed fishes, swims in the shallow coastal waters of modern day Bolivia. Image: Nobumichi Tamura
All fish species find their evolutionary origin in seashore environments - life science news

Early fish types have emerged from fragile seashore environments between 480 and 360 million years ago, new data suggest. Due to the scarcity of fossils from this period, scientists adopted a big data approach, surveying more than 2,700 early records, and matched these with mathematical modeling to predict the habitat from where early fish types emerged. They found that some fish species evolved into groups with flexible body shape that were able to leave the seashores and colonize deep waters. Other, more rigid or armored species, would have had limited swimming ability, and remained in shallow waters. Some fish moved into fresh water, and others eventually reached land to give rise to the terrestrial vertebrates we know today. The study highlights the importance of shallow water for evolutionary development of fish species, and gives more reason to protect this habitat from consequences of global warming.

Read the full story: University of Birmingham
Scientific publication: Science