10/17/2013

Teeth were not the first bones to evolve, according to a study of conodonts -- ancient, jawless, eel-like creatures that died out 200 million years ago. Using X-rays, palaeontologists determined that the bony tooth-like spurs found in the mouths of early conodonts evolved independently from vertebrate teeth, meaning that the tooth as we know it today hadn't yet evolved when conodonts split from the animals that eventually became humans, according to a report in Nature. "We now have to assume our teeth evolved from the armor of mud-slurping fish," said Philip Donoghue of the University of Bristol in England, the study's lead author.

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