Fish adapted to the deep sea 80 million years earlier than

A chimaera fish

A deep-sea chimaera, also known as a ghost shark

Andrea Baucon et al.

Fish started to live in the deep sea at least 130 million years ago – 80 million years earlier than we thought – fossils found in Italy suggest.

“The discovery was like finding astronaut footprints on the moon,” says study author Andrea Baucon from the University of Genoa in Italy. “We discovered when and where vertebrates colonised the deep sea.”

The deep sea is an unpromising habitat for fish: It is frigid, pitch-black, periodically swept by powerful currents, and characterised by high-pressure conditions that …

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