Discoveries made by chance are always the most incredible, such as the discovery of treasure in the forest 2,500 years ago. So recently researchers came across a brain believed to be more than 319 million years old: and is the oldest well-preserved vertebrate gray matter ever discovered.
“This is such an exciting and unexpected discovery“, Sam Giles of the Natural History Museum in London enthused on CNN. “It was so unexpected and it took a while to be sure that it was indeed a brain. The anatomy of the brain in this fossil has major implications for our understanding of brain evolution in fish.”
The fossilized skull, in particular, belonged to a Coccocephalus wildi, a primitive fish. This is not a recent discovery, as the creature was first unearthed over a century ago in a coal mine in England. Since the fossil is the only known example of this fish, the researchers wanted analyze it through a computed tomography.
“It had all the characteristics of gray matter and I said to myself, ‘Is that really a brain I’m looking at?’said senior author and University of Michigan paleontologist Matt Friedman. This is the find from the “oldest three-dimensional fossil brain in the world“. A great discovery that could give us new information and improve some gaps in the evolutionary history.