• Earliest fossil flying fish discovered

    by  • October 31, 2012 • Uncategorized • 0 Comments

    Flying fish fossils that date back to the Middle Triassic period, 235-242 million years ago have been discovered by Chinese researchers. The fossils, which provide the earliest evidence of vertebrate over-water gliding strategy. represent new evidence that marine ecosystems re-established more quickly than previously thought after the Permian mass extinction, which wiped out 90-95% of marine species. The flying fish, named Potanichthys xingyiensis, was 153mm long and had the “unusual combination of morphological features” associated with gliding strategy in fishes. The fossils show an asymmetrical, forked tail fin and a “four-winged” body formation, with a pair of enlarged pectoral fins forming “primary wings”, and a smaller pair of pelvic fins acting as “auxiliary wings”. according to the study. The new research, published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B Journal, was carried out by scientists from Peking University, the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Zhejiang Museum of Natural History. The fossils were discovered in Guizhou province, south-west China, and represent the first record of the extinct Thoracopteridae family of fishes to be found in Asia. Full story here.

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    Editor and publisher of Classic Angling magazine. Founder member of UK Angling Writers' Association and current chairman. Former winner of Writer of the Year. I wrote a weekly angling column for The Independent for 23 years, having previously written columns for The Guardian and Sunday Mirror. If it swims, I'll fish for it: marlin or mackerel, trout or tench, salmon or snook. I've written several books on fishing, from one for the Duke of Edinburgh's award to the notorious Catchmore Sharks (don't look at the pictures) and Bob Nudd's autobiography, How to be the World's Best Fisherman. I love exotic travel for fishing (been to Mongolia and Ecuador, the Great Barrier Reef and Arunachal Pradesh) and wish I could afford to do such trips more often. My favourite fish? Anything with fins, though I have a special love for mahseer, and I'm chairman of The Mahseer Trust.

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