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Evolution of a smile: 400 million year old spiny fish overturns shark theory of tooth origins – The Conversation UK

Scientists have long believed that sharks were the first vertebrates to evolve teeth. Our new study reveals a more complex history.



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Teeth play a central role in the ecology of most vertebrates for catching prey, processing food and even attracting a mate. Its no surprise that scientists such as ourselves have long been interested in how teeth first evolved.
For many years we regarded shark teeth, with their conveyor belt system of tooth replacement, as ancestral models for teeth.
But recent advances in our field of research revealed that a group of spiny fishes known as the acanthodians were the first ancestors of modern-day…

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