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November 7, 1999 Environmental Updates -
Primitive Fish A Half A Billion Years Ago
One of the challenges of science is to figure out the beginning of things, from the dawn of the cosmos to how long ago vertebrate animals with bones first appeared on earth. In this past week's journal Nature, two Chinese teams reported the discovery of fish-like fossils with primitive backbones that are about 530 million years old. That puts them in the middle of the Cambrian epoch when all kinds of animal life proliferated on this planet. For Cambridge, England scientist, Simon Morris, the fact there were primitive fish nearly half a billion years ago means that "the so-called Cambrian explosion was more abrupt and dramatic than we thought."
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