Fossil Might Unlock Secret to Flat Fish Evolution

Fish in the flounder family have long been an evolutionary mystery. Their oddly shaped anatomy has puzzled ichthyologists for decades. … Continued

Fish in the flounder family have long been an evolutionary mystery. Their oddly shaped anatomy has puzzled ichthyologists for decades. A recent fossil find by Oxford University researcher Dr. Matt Friedman may have finally unlock the secret to these fishes evolution. Specifically, did their eyes migrate from both sides of the head to one side.

Friedman’s fossil fish, named Heteronectes (meaning “different swimmer”), was discovered in 50 million year old marine rock in northern Italy. Friedman’s petrified flat fish had an eye on each side of its head.

Oddly enough, the fossil was not discovered during a dig. Instead, it was discovered in a museum collection in Vienna. The fossil was unmarked and had been collecting dust for decades prior to its discovery.