The heart of the “sea monster” preserved intact after 380 years has been found

The world’s oldest heart has just been discovered in a 380-million-year-old fossil of an ancient fish.

Scientists at Curtin University have found the “intact preserved” heart along with the stomach, intestines and liver covered with fossils of an ancient jawed fish. This jawed fish belongs to the class Arthrodires – a heavily armored fish that became extinct in the Devonian period from 419.2 million years ago to 358.9 million years ago.

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Lead researcher from the Curtin School of Molecular and Life Sciences and the Western Australian Museum, Professor Kate Trinajstic said the find was “remarkable” because the soft tissues of ancient animals were so well preserved. is extremely rare and this is the first finding in her 20 years of working in the field of paleontology. Not to mention the specimen completely looks like a mummy – in 3D and beautifully preserved for some 380 million years.

The "water monster" heart is preserved intact after 380 years

The team used neutron beams and X-ray microscopy, which generated physical cross-sections of individual organs that could then be used to reconstruct 3D models of the soft tissues within them, based on Various densities of minerals are deposited by the bacteria and the surrounding rock bed.

The "water monster" heart is preserved intact after 380 years

The most special in this new discovery is the heart, which is also the most intact and perfect internal organ. Bringing back a series of world first finds, from the origin, sex to the heart of the oldest vertebrate, and now one of the most important fossil sites in the world. In addition, these findings bridge the gap between early jawless animals and the more advanced vertebrates, our ancestors.

The "water monster" heart is preserved intact after 380 years

The location of the S-shaped heart, with its two chambers, has led researchers to suggest that these are similarities between ancient swimming fish and modern sharks. “Evolution is often thought of as a series of small steps, but these ancient fossils suggest that there was a larger leap between jawless and jawed vertebrates, as previously found. “These fish actually had hearts in their mouths and under their gills – just like today’s sharks,” Trinajstic said.

The "water monster" heart is preserved intact after 380 years

This treasure was discovered fossil by biologists during a 2008 expedition to the GoGo Formation, and it adds to the wealth of information gathered from the site, including the origin of the teeth and extensions. understanding of the fin-to-limb transition. The GoGo Formation, a sedimentary deposit in the Kimberley region of Western Australia, is known for its rich fossil record of coral reef life from the Devonian period of the Paleozoic era, including remains of thin tissues. as fragile as nerves and embryos with umbilical cords.