Exceptionally preserved 300-Myr-old fossil

Fossilised Aanthodes bridgei with eye tissues intact.Researchers have unearthed a fossil fish so well preserved, it still has traces of eye tissues.

What’s more, these fossil tissues reveal that the 300-million-year-old fish called Acanthodes bridgei (pictured), like its living relatives, possessed two types of photoreceptors called rods and cones—cells that make vision possible. This is the first time that mineralized rods and cones have been found conserved in a vertebrate fossil, the team reports online today in Nature Communications, as soft tissues of the eye normally begin to disintegrate within days of death.

Read the full story at Science magazine.

Photo credit: Tanaka et al., Nature Communications

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