400 million-year-old fish linked to human evolution

A 400-million-year-old fish fossil has been found with a jaw structure that is believed to be part of the evolutionary lineage to humans.

The ancient fossil was unearthed during a study of limestones around Lake Burrinjuck, some 50 km northwest of Canberra, Australia, according to RT.

The region is known for its rare skulls of extinct armoured fish called placoderms, however experts say this example is the best preserved skull and braincase of a placoderm ever found.

Mystery of how first animals appeared on Earth solved

Research has solved the mystery of how the first animals appeared on Earth, a pivotal moment for the planet without which humans would not exist according to Science daily.

Lead researcher Associate Professor Jochen Brocks said the team found the answer in ancient sedimentary rocks.

"We crushed these rocks to powder and extracted molecules of ancient organisms from them," said Dr Brocks.

"These molecules tell us that it really became interesting 650 million years ago. It was a revolution of ecosystems, it was the rise of algae."

Dr Brocks said the rise of algae triggered one of the most profound ecological revolutions in Earth's history, without which humans and other animals would not exist.

Goldfish turn to alcohol to survive icy winters

Scientists have decoded the secrets behind a goldfish's ability to survive in ice-covered lakes.

They've worked out how and why the fish turn lactic acid in their bodies into alcohol, as a means of staying alive, according to BBC.

Some goldfish were found to have levels well above legal drink-driving limits in many countries.

Scientists Probe Neptune's Depths to Reveal Secrets of Icy Planets

Scientists have helped solve the mystery of what lies beneath the surface of Neptune -- the most distant planet in our solar system.

A new study sheds light on the chemical make-up of the planet, which lies around 4.5 billion kilometres from the sun, according to Science Daily.

Extremely low temperatures on planets like Neptune -- called ice giants -- mean that chemicals on these distant worlds exist in a frozen state, researchers say.

Bloom from the past

Scientists have come up with a reconstruction of what they believe the very first flower on earth to be – and it resembles a magnolia or lily.

In a study researchers from the University of Paris-Sud and the University of Vienna recount their work in tracing the origins of flowers, according to RT.

By constructing a complex ancestry using the “largest data set of floral traits ever assembled,” the authors of the study say the evolution of blossoming vegetation can be traced back to one angiosperm floret.