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Paleontologists found an 18-million-year-old bull fossil


LMU paleontologists have discovered a new species of fossil goby that reveals the evolutionary secrets of a lineage dating back millions of years. Gobies or Gobioidei represent one of the most diverse marine and freshwater fish in Europe. They are found, as a rule, at the bottom of shallow waters and play an important role in the health and functioning of many ecosystems.


Paleontologist Bettina Reichenbacher, students of the International Master’s Program in Geobiology and Paleobiology at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich and professor at LMU’s Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, has made a critically important discovery by describing a new genus of fossil freshwater goby. Insight into the evolutionary history of these fish.

LMU paleontologists have discovered a new species of fossil goby that sheds light on the early stages of evolution and habitat adaptation of gobies, one of the most diverse groups of fish in Europe. Fish fossil of a new genus †
simpsonigobius . Author: Moritz Dirnberger

New species of small fish† simpsonigobius Rocks with dimensions of up to 34 mm have been found in 18-million-year-old rocks in Turkey and are characterized by a combination of different morphological features, including uniquely shaped otoliths (hearing stones).

Modern research methods clarify position in the family tree

To determine the relationship † simpsonigobius In the gobioid phylogenetic tree, the researchers used a “full evidence” phylogenetic dataset they developed to combine genetic data from a total of 48 morphological characters and five genes for 48 living and 10 fossil species. type. Additionally, the team applied “type dating” to fossil gobioid species for the first time. This is a phylogenetic method in which the age of fossils (= clues) included in the phylogenetic tree is used to determine the time in the evolutionary history of the entire group.

The results show that the new genus is the oldest skeletal member of the family Oxudercidae, classified as the “modern” goby (family Gobiidae and Oxudercidae), and the oldest freshwater goby in this modern group. Clue analysis estimated that Gobiidae appeared 34.1 million years ago and Oxudercidae 34.8 million years ago; this is consistent with previous dating studies using other methods. In addition, stochastic habitat mapping, in which the researchers included fossil remains of gobies for the first time, revealed that gobies likely had a broad tolerance to salinity early in their evolutionary history, challenging previous assumptions.

“Discovery †Simpsonigobius It not only adds a new genus to the Gobioidei, but also provides vital clues about the evolutionary scale and habitat adaptation of these diverse fish. “Our study highlights the importance of analyzing fossils using modern methods to obtain a more accurate picture of evolutionary processes,” says Reichenbacher. Lead author Moritz Dirnberger, currently a PhD student at the University of Montpellier, adds: “The resulting data reveal the evolution of gobioids and the diversity of environmental factors.” It is expected to lead to further studies on its role in shaping “

Source: Port Altele

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