Human Origins Tied to Sharks – Something’s Fishy

According to researchers, a now extinct bony fish species that evolved from sharks some 460 million years ago is the common ancestor of all jawed vertebrates, including humans. Check out the latest research on human-shark ancestry here.

This is especially interesting when you look at it from the context of ancient Sumerian myths, which talk of amphibious demi-gods called Apkallu that emerged from the sea to teach humans about civilization, the solar systems, gardening, and other bits of wisdom.

With all the space research under way, are we looking in the right place? As Chief Brody said, “We’re gonna need a bigger boat.”

In other water-related news, NASA has reported a giant tropical salt lake on Titan, one of Saturn’s moons.  The only catch is, the lake is filled with liquid hydrocarbons, as the surface temperature is -297 degrees Fahrenheit (-183 degrees Celsius).  So you’ll need a sweater.

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2 comments on “Human Origins Tied to Sharks – Something’s Fishy

  1. Both of these news bits are things that I learned from you first, quite by accident while wandering about the “blogosphere.” Thank you so much. I follow the Cassini mission as closely as I can, but I had not heard about the equatorial lake on Titan. I see by the article you linked that the news story is only about a month old. Still, I’m surprised I hadn’t heard of it until now.
    The news story in your title isn’t exactly shocking, but it is interesting. Sharks are such incredibly ancient, primitive fish. It’s fascinating to think that our ancestors weren’t just fish, but specifically a primitive shark.
    I don’t think that the Sumarians had any kind of knowledge we do not when they came up with their myths, but it is a rather neat coincidence nevertheless.

  2. Glad to help, and cool name! I thought as well that it was a pretty interesting coincidence, if nothing else, that the Sumerians talked about fish-headed “gods,” while our ancestry ties to the aquatic world more than we thought, and sharks in particular. If course it’s always fun to let your mind run wild with the creative possibilities.

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