1. The ‘Mother Fish’
This fossil represents the origin of sex as we know it – a 400-million-year-old fish carrying a perfectly preserved embryo.
Found in 2015 by Professor Long on Gogo Station in the Kimberley region of Western Australia, it made the Guinness World Records 2010 as the ‘Oldest Live Birth’.
“It was remarkable, not only because it was the oldest embryo and represented the origin of complex sexual reproduction, but it also had a mineralised umbilical cord still attached to the embryo,” says Professor Long.
The species was named Materpiscis attenboroughi after Sir David Attenborough, who later remarked, “Now my name will always be associated with the origins of sex.”