Oldest Known Fossilized Brain Found in Kansas





A 300-million-year-old fossilized brain has been discovered by researchers studying a type of fish that once lived in what is now Kansas and Oklahoma.

"Fossilized brains are unusual, and this is by far the oldest known example," said John Maisey, curator in the division of paleontology at the American Museum of Natural History in New York.

Maisey and co-authors report in the online edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Science that the brain was discovered in a fossilized iniopterygian from Kansas, which they had sent for scanning at the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility in Grenoble, France.

Iniopterygians are extinct relatives of modern ratfishes, also known as ghost sharks.

The scan found a fossilized blob inside the braincase and closer study revealed it was the fossilized brain of the ancient creature.



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