50 Million Years Fish Fossils Shed Light on Ancient Fish Behavior

A plain piece of limestone has become the final dwelling place for a numerous bunch of extinct fish species. The limestone is located in the Green River Formation, and it was there where 259 fish of the already obsolete Erismatopterus levatus​ species were discovered.

For the quite young species of humans, each ancient fossil discovered is an excellent insight on our planet’s incredible history. This particular discovery, however, might be the most fabulous fossil ever seen. The bunch of fossilized fish is reportedly about 50 million years old.

The reason of their sudden seizure is unknown, but scientists from the Arizona State University and Mizuta Memorial Museum in Japan theorize that a sand dune in hollow water could have fallen right on top of the small fish.

These creatures used to dwell in the Green River area’s mountain lakes on the time of the Eocene, which arise about 56 to 34 million years ago. An adult Erismatopterus levatus​ should measure approximately 6.5 cm (2.5-inches), but these creatures were babies, with the majority of them hardly topping 20 millimeters.

The discovery is incredibly important and tremendous for the scientists. Fossils are crucial peek into Earth’s living history, but they did not often provide scientists with an insight into the way ancient animals behaved, or how their behaviors may have evolved with time.

In this particular case, the one sure thing to conclude is that fish have been living in reefs for an extended period, but it is another thing to see the evidence of this ancient behavior in an entirely frozen piece of stone.

The team of researchers measures every one of the fish, mapped their locations, and performed 1,000 separate simulations of the band’s movement.

The findings show that fish have indeed kept together for the past 50 million years. What it is more impressing is the fact that the species that do that in the present are evolutionarily coming from the Eocene fish.

The research has been issued in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B.​