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News From the Field
Where We Split From Sharks: Common Ancestor Comes Into Focus

June 13, 2012

a latex mold of Acanthodes bronni and a fish The common ancestor of all jawed vertebrates on Earth resembled a shark, according to a new analysis of the braincase of a 290-million-year-old fossil fish that has long puzzled paleontologists. Research on Acanthodes bronni, a Paleozoic fish, sheds light on the evolution of the earliest jawed vertebrates and offers a glimpse of the last common ancestor before the split between the earliest sharks and the first bony fishes--the lineage that would eventually include human beings. Full Story

Source
University of Chicago Medical Center

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. In fiscal year (FY) 2014, its budget is $7.2 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and other institutions. Each year, NSF receives about 50,000 competitive requests for funding, and makes about 11,500 new funding awards. NSF also awards about $593 million in professional and service contracts yearly.

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