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Scientist hails ‘jaw-dropping’ fish fossil discovery

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A leading British scientist has said that the discovery of a 419-million-year-old fish fossil in China is a stunning and spectacular development.

Palaeobiologist Matt Friedman claims that the fish provided crucial evidence about the evolutionary development of jawed vertebrates.

As a remote relative of humans, it provides important evolutionary clues.

“It is the deepest branch of our family tree that bears the kinds of jaw bones found in humans,” Dr Friedman said.

The fossil was found at China’s Xiaoxiang Reservoir, and was reported by the journal Nature on Thursday.

Scientists say that the heavily armoured fish, Entelognathus primordialis, is a previously unknown member of jawed vertebrates also known as gnathostomes. It has a complex small skull and jaw-bone structure.

“This is an unexpected discovery that inverts schoolbook teaching on the evolution of bony skulls,” Dr Friedman said.

“Up until now it had been thought that the anatomical peculiarities of bony fishes – the group that would eventually give rise to human beings – are specialisations that arose later in vertebrate evolutionary history in our own bony fish lineage.”

“But now that narrative has been turned on its head.”

Dr Friedman said that the fish’s jaw was much more like that of a modern bony fish – which is why its discovery may offer a new perspective on the early evolution of these creatures.

His review of the significance of the fossil find also appears in the latest edition of Nature.

Scientists say that the evolution of jaws is one of the key episodes in the evolution of vertebrates, but the gap between jawed and jawless vertebrates is so large that it is hard to work out the individual evolutionary steps in the transition.

“While this fossil does not tell us anything about the origin of jawed fishes from jawless ones, it does tell us about subsequent modifications to jaw structure that we thought were unique to bony fishes,” Dr Friedman said.

It is thought that modern jawed vertebrates, such as sharks and bony fishes, emerged from a collection of jawed, armoured fishes known as placoderms.

Entelognathus primordialis has jaw-bone features previously restricted to bony fishes (osteichthyans) as well as full body armour seen in placoderms, and it would have been around 20cm (7.8in) long.

Dr Friedman says that the fossil adds weight to the theory that many classic bony fish features were evolved “very deep in our family tree, before bony fish split from sharks”.

“This means that we – as in bony fishes – are the ones who have held on to more ancient structures, while it is the sharks that have gone off and done something new and interesting in an evolutionary sense.

“They are the ones that have most radically modified this pattern, which we now understand is probably primitive to all modern jawed vertebrates.”

 

Source: www.bbc.co.uk/news

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The Ocean Cleanup to Complete 100th Extraction Live from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch

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the ocean cleanup
  • The Ocean Cleanup marks 100th extraction of plastic pollution from the Pacific Ocean by livestreaming entire cleaning operation from start to finish.
  • Occasion brings together supporters, partners, donors and followers as the project readies its cleanup technology for scale-up.
  • Founder and CEO Boyan Slat to provide insight on the plans ahead.

The Ocean Cleanup is set to reach a milestone of 100 plastic extractions from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

Extraction #100, scheduled for 28 or 29 May 2024, will be the first ever to be livestreamed direct from the Pacific Ocean, allowing supporters and partners around the world to see up close how the organization has removed over 385,000 kilograms (nearly 850,000 lbs) of plastic from the GPGP so far – more than double the bare weight of the Statue of Liberty.

the ocean cleanup

The mission of The Ocean Cleanup is to rid the oceans of plastic. To do this, the non-profit project employs a dual strategy: cleaning up legacy floating plastic in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch (the world’s largest accumulation of floating plastic), while stopping the flow of plastic from the world’s most polluting rivers.

The Ocean Cleanup captured its first plastic (the first ‘extraction’) in the GPGP in 2019 with System 001, following years of trials and testing with a variety of concepts. Through System 002 and now the larger and more efficient System 03, the organization has consistently improved and optimized operations, and is now preparing to extract plastic trash from the GPGP for the 100th time.

the ocean cleanup

Extraction #100 will be an interactive broadcast showing the entire extraction procedure live and in detail, with insight provided by representatives from across The Ocean Cleanup and partners contributing to the operations.

This is an important milestone in a key year for The Ocean Cleanup.’ said Boyan Slat, Founder and CEO of The Ocean Cleanup. ‘We’ve come a long way since our first extraction in 2019. During the 2024 season, with System 03, we aim to demonstrate that we are ready to scale up, and with it, confine the Great Pacific Garbage Patch to the history books.

the ocean cleanup

The livestream will be hosted on The Ocean Cleanup’s YouTube channel and via X. Monitor @theoceancleanup for confirmed timings.

www.theoceancleanup.com

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𝗕𝗩𝗜 𝗪𝗿𝗲𝗰𝗸 𝗪𝗲𝗲𝗸 𝟮𝟬𝟮𝟰: 𝗨𝗻𝘃𝗲𝗶𝗹𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗧𝗿𝗲𝗮𝘀𝘂𝗿𝗲𝘀 𝗼𝗳 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗗𝗲𝗲𝗽

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As the sun sets over the turquoise waters of the British Virgin Islands, adventure enthusiasts and diving aficionados from around the globe are gearing up for the highly anticipated event of the year – BVI Wreck Week 2024. Set to take place from 𝗝𝘂𝗻𝗲 𝟭𝟲-𝟮𝟮, this thrilling week long extravaganza promises an unparalleled exploration of maritime history and underwater wonders.
Organized by the BVI Scuba Organization, BVI Wreck Week 2024 is a celebration of the rich maritime heritage and natural beauty that the British Virgin Islands have to offer. From seasoned wreck divers to curious beginners, this event caters to all levels of experience, offering a diverse range of activities and experiences both above and below the waterline.
Highlighting the event are the meticulously preserved wrecks and art-reefs that dot the sea floor of the British Virgin Islands.
𝗣𝗮𝗿𝘁𝗶𝗰𝗶𝗽𝗮𝗻𝘁𝘀 𝘄𝗶𝗹𝗹 𝗵𝗮𝘃𝗲 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗼𝗽𝗽𝗼𝗿𝘁𝘂𝗻𝗶𝘁𝘆 𝘁𝗼 𝗱𝗶𝘃𝗲 𝗶𝗻𝘁𝗼 𝗵𝗶𝘀𝘁𝗼𝗿𝘆 𝗮𝘀 𝘁𝗵𝗲𝘆 𝗲𝘅𝗽𝗹𝗼𝗿𝗲 𝘁𝗵𝗲𝘀𝗲 𝗳𝗮𝘀𝗰𝗶𝗻𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝘂𝗻𝗱𝗲𝗿𝘄𝗮𝘁𝗲𝗿 𝘀𝗶𝘁𝗲𝘀, 𝗲𝗮𝗰𝗵 𝘄𝗶𝘁𝗵 𝗶𝘁𝘀 𝗼𝘄𝗻 𝘀𝘁𝗼𝗿𝘆 𝘁𝗼 𝘁𝗲𝗹𝗹.
From legendary “Pirate” ships to World War II-era vessels, these wrecks serve as time capsules, offering glimpses into the past and stirring the imagination of all who visit them.
But BVI Wreck Week is not just about diving – it’s a full-fledged festival celebrating the marine environment and the vibrant culture of the British Virgin Islands.
𝗔𝘁𝘁𝗲𝗻𝗱𝗲𝗲𝘀 𝗰𝗮𝗻 𝗹𝗼𝗼𝗸 𝗳𝗼𝗿𝘄𝗮𝗿𝗱 𝘁𝗼 𝗮 𝗽𝗮𝗰𝗸𝗲𝗱 𝘀𝗰𝗵𝗲𝗱𝘂𝗹𝗲 𝗼𝗳 𝗲𝘃𝗲𝗻𝘁𝘀, 𝗶𝗻𝗰𝗹𝘂𝗱𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗯𝗲𝗮𝗰𝗵 𝗽𝗮𝗿𝘁𝗶𝗲𝘀, 𝗹𝗶𝘃𝗲 𝗺𝘂𝘀𝗶𝗰 𝗽𝗲𝗿𝗳𝗼𝗿𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲𝘀, 𝗰𝘂𝗹𝗶𝗻𝗮𝗿𝘆 𝗱𝗲𝗹𝗶𝗴𝗵𝘁𝘀 𝗳𝗲𝗮𝘁𝘂𝗿𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗹𝗼𝗰𝗮𝗹 𝗰𝘂𝗶𝘀𝗶𝗻𝗲, 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗲𝗱𝘂𝗰𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻𝗮𝗹 𝘀𝗲𝗺𝗶𝗻𝗮𝗿𝘀 𝗼𝗻 𝗺𝗮𝗿𝗶𝗻𝗲 𝗰𝗼𝗻𝘀𝗲𝗿𝘃𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗽𝗿𝗲𝘀𝗲𝗿𝘃𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻..
We are thrilled to welcome divers and adventurers from around the world to BVI Wreck Week 2024,” said 𝗞𝗶𝗺 𝗛𝘂𝗶𝘀𝗵, 𝗣𝗿𝗲𝘀𝗶𝗱𝗲𝗻𝘁 𝗼𝗳 𝗧𝗵𝗲 𝗕𝗩𝗜 𝗦𝗰𝘂𝗯𝗮 𝗢𝗿𝗴𝗮𝗻𝗶𝘇𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻. “This event is not only an opportunity to explore some of the most captivating wrecks in the Caribbean butalso a chance to immerse oneself in the beauty and culture of the British Virgin Islands.
BVI Wreck Week 2024 promises an unforgettable experience for all who attend – whether you’re an avid diver, history buff, or simply looking for an exciting getaway. If you can’t get here this year you can still follow along online as there will be daily, often “Live” posts to our socials. Don’t miss your chance to be a part of this one-of-a-kind event!
For more information and to register, visit bviwreckweek.com or follow on BVI Wreck Week and instagram.com/bviwreck/
Nick and Caroline Robertson-Brown attended BVI Wreck Week in 2023. Read there 3-part blog about the event here:
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Experience the Red Sea in May with Bella Eriny Liveaboard! As the weather warms up, there’s no better time to dive into the crystal clear waters of the Red Sea. Join us on Bella Eriny, your premier choice for Red Sea liveaboards, this May for an unforgettable underwater adventure. Explore vibrant marine life and stunning coral reefs Enjoy comfortable accommodation in our spacious cabins Savor delicious meals prepared by our onboard chef Benefit from the expertise of our professional dive guides Visit our website for more information and to secure your spot: www.scubatravel.com/BellaEriny or call 01483 411590 More Less

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