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Catching the first fish

Most major animal groups appear suddenly in the fossil record 550 million years ago, but vertebrates have been absent from this ‘Big Bang’ of life. Two fish-like animals from Early Cambrian rocks now fill this gap.

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Figure 1: The current phylogenetic tree of the major living and fossil vertebrate groups.


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Janvier, P. Catching the first fish. Nature 402, 21–22 (1999).

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