Research on a 290-million-year-old fossil of the Acanthodes bronni, a primitive shark, has revealed that this extinct species may be the last common ancestor of all jawed vertebrates, including mankind.
‘Unexpectedly, Acanthodes turns out to be the best view we have of conditions in the last common ancestor of bony fishes and sharks,’ said co-author Michael Coates, at the University of Chicago. ‘Our work is telling us that the earliest bony fishes looked pretty much like sharks, and not vice versa. What we might think of as shark space is, in fact, general modern jawed vertebrate space.’
‘The common ancestors of all jawed vertebrates today organized their heads in a way that resembled sharks,’ said John A. Finarelli, another author of the study and researcher at the University College Dublin. ‘Given what we now know about the interrelatedness of early fishes, these results tell us that while sharks retained these features, bony fishes moved away from such conditions.’
As it turns out, we could say that humans evolved from sharks instead of monkeys. That would explain many things.
Davis, S., Finarelli, J., & Coates, M. (2012). Acanthodes and shark-like conditions in the last common ancestor of modern gnathostomes Nature, 486 (7402), 247-250 DOI: 10.1038/nature11080