Chinese scientists have discovered the first fully-preserved fossils of a jawed fish that lived around 423 million years ago.
The Chongqing Municipal Planning and Natural Resources Bureau, based in the Chinese megacity of Chongqing, made the announcement on 21st June after the fossil was found in Xiushan County.
According to the researchers, the Biancheng fish lived during the Silurian period, the third period of the Paleozoic Era, around 423 million years ago.
The research was carried out by the Chongqing Municipal Planning and Natural Resources Bureau, the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology, and Qujing Normal University.
Scientists called the findings a major breakthrough in the research of fish fossils from the Silurian period.
The fossil of the jawed fish was well preserved and research has shown that it is closely related to modern-day jawed vertebrates.
Scientists hope the discovery will provide empirical data regarding the early evolution of jawbones in animals, “from fish to humans”.
Chongqing has been the location of a number of major discoveries, including the remains of Early Jurassic reptiles and fish fossils dating back 200 million years. The jawed fish is believed to be the oldest vertebrate fossil ever found in Chongqing.