The bones of prehistoric fish “acted as skeletal batteries” that provided minerals to energy the animals as they swam lengthy distances, in keeping with new analysis described in Nationwide Geographic. Berlin Museum of Nature paleontologist Yara Haridi and her colleagues analyzed fossilized bones of fish that lived 400 million years in the past. The fish, known as osteostracans, grew a bone shell on the surface of the physique. From National Geographic:
A way developed for supplies science and different engineering purposes allowed Haridy and colleagues to disclose bone buildings that scientists haven’t beforehand been in a position to research. “I noticed one in every of my colleagues’ posters within the hallway with wonderful photos of pores in batteries, they usually seemed like cells,” Hariday remembers[…]
Whereas [using the scanning method on osteostracan fish fossils], Haridy and her group observed that the bone tissue across the cell cavities was eaten away. These little divots weren’t the signal of a illness or harm, nonetheless. The bone cells had dissolved a number of the tissue in order that the calcium, phosphorous, and different minerals inside might be despatched into the traditional fish’s bloodstream.
The cells turned bone tissue right into a sort of battery, releasing saved minerals wanted for bodily processes resembling nourishing the muscle mass wanted to swim. In flip, the necessity for extra minerals helped drive the evolution of mobile bones, a change that influenced the trajectory of vertebrates.