We May Have Prehistoric Fish to Thank for Finding Pleasure in Sex

by Owen James Burke

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(Image via BBC)

385-million-year-old fossils found by a team of international scientists in Scotland are believed to be the remnants of the first known animals to engage in sexual reproduction, and wouldn’t you know it, they were fish.

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(Image via Irish Examiner)

Microbrachius dicki was an ancient armored fish believed to have lived in ancient lake habitats of the north, ranging all the way from Scotland to China, and measuring about three inches long. It also happens to be the earliest-known vertebrate ancestor of the homo sapien.

The male had ‘bony’ L-shaped reproductive organs, now referred to as claspers (sharks have them too, among other fish) while its female counterpart bore a small pair of bones for locking the male appendages into place during mating.

Aptly named from the beginning, Microbrachius actually means “little arms”, but until now, scientists have been baffled at what the little things were for, explained John Long, a paleontologist at Flinders University in South Australia, who led the research.

And here’s a graphic animation, viewer discretion (sort of) advised:

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Read more at Reuters and the scientific journal, Nature — OB

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