You old fishface you
October 24, 2013 3:09 PM   Subscribe

This 419-Million-Year-Old Fish Has the World’s Oldest Known Face What makes it remarkable is everything that’s come after it: It’s the oldest known creature with a face, and may have given rise to virtually all the faces that have followed in the hundreds of millions of years since, including our own.
posted by maggieb (32 comments total) 22 users marked this as a favorite
 
Literally awesome. Thanks for posting. It's exactly the sort of thing that makes me love this place - I'm now officially more informed than many science-type-people.

I will now attempt to disseminate this information in an effort to impress people, but will only remember "there was an old fish with a face...something something" but still.
posted by billiebee at 3:20 PM on October 24, 2013 [4 favorites]


:<
posted by Zozo at 3:21 PM on October 24, 2013 [6 favorites]


I would love to see a high resolution file of this. Gorgeous.
posted by maggieb at 3:25 PM on October 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


ha ha ha ha ha ur momz has the world's oldest known face
posted by turbid dahlia at 3:30 PM on October 24, 2013 [6 favorites]


This admittedly homely fish . . .

Admitted by whom? Not the fish, I assure you. The earliest known fossil Fedora, found nearby, suggests to scientists that he considered himself "striking" if "avant-garde".
posted by The Bellman at 3:32 PM on October 24, 2013 [12 favorites]


So at some point there were two fishes with 'almost faces'. When they mated they produced the worlds first fish face. I think the real question here is: "was this a fish face only a fish mother could love?"
posted by poe at 3:38 PM on October 24, 2013 [3 favorites]


Also I'm totally unclear about the use of fish vs. fishes in that mating scenario. Is faceyness enough to differentiate them into the separate kinds of fish needed to call them fishes?
posted by poe at 3:41 PM on October 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


"was this a fish face only a fish mother could love?"

And if she didn't even have a face, was she in a position to judge?
posted by Sara C. at 3:44 PM on October 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


High(er) Resolution
posted by blue_beetle at 3:47 PM on October 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


World's Oldest Known Face?
posted by Joey Michaels at 3:53 PM on October 24, 2013 [9 favorites]


Holy crap, Joey Michaels, that is an incredibly subtle joke.
posted by The Bellman at 3:57 PM on October 24, 2013 [10 favorites]


Look at this face, what do you see?

</handsomeboy>
posted by wikipedia brown boy detective at 4:02 PM on October 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


This admittedly homely fish . . .

I thought he was cute. He looks very thoughtful in the illustration as he swims about being a top level predator and the progenitor of such an illustrious line.

They should be more respectful of our many-greats great grandfather.
posted by winna at 4:06 PM on October 24, 2013 [5 favorites]


Which evolved first, faces or pareidolia?

Were faces just one possible configuration that satisfied some type of selection criteria? Were they simply the most symmetrical?

When humans are long gone, will robots build robots with faces?

One day in the far future, will a robot surfing the holoweb post "419 million year old human has last known face" to robot metafilter?

These are the things I wonder about.
posted by Ad hominem at 4:08 PM on October 24, 2013 [6 favorites]


Huh, I didn't even know fish had nostrils. I guess I've seen fish nostrils before but wasn't really paying attention. (They are used for smelling but not breathing. Thanks, Google!)

As a bonus, while looking for more prehistoric faces I found this page featuring many different flavors of trilobites and their crazy eyes (or lack thereof). Trilobites are neat.
posted by Metroid Baby at 4:24 PM on October 24, 2013 [3 favorites]


EYEEEEES WITHOUT A FAAAAACE
posted by The Whelk at 4:47 PM on October 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


But if I had your face I could make it safe and clean

Boop boop doo boop boop beep.
posted by Ad hominem at 5:00 PM on October 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


A timeless design!
posted by rosswald at 5:05 PM on October 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


many different flavors of trilobites

They all taste like lime to me.
posted by Sys Rq at 5:08 PM on October 24, 2013 [5 favorites]


Now I want to see a rendering of what the creatures before this looked like.
posted by bleep at 6:28 PM on October 24, 2013


Speaking of Abe Vigoda, when he played Fish on Barney Miller, every joke was about how old he was. He was the old cop. That's the joke! Until he retired, Fish was, like, the oldest cop anyone had ever seen!

Which was like 1979.

Thirty four years ago, "Abe Vigoda is really old" was a thing.
posted by Cookiebastard at 6:34 PM on October 24, 2013 [3 favorites]


Thirty four years ago, "Abe Vigoda is really old" was a thing.

Thirty-eight years ago, even (the show premiered in 1975); Abe Vigoda was 54 when Barney Miller began. For comparison, some 54-year-old celebrities today include Sean Bean, Susanna Hoffs, Emma Thompson, Simon Cowell and Rosanna Arquette. Not a one of 'em going to pass for undergrads, but also not likely to look as decrepit as Vigoda did when put next to some thirty-somethings as he was in Barney Miller.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 6:50 PM on October 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


Now I want to see a rendering of what the creatures before this looked like.

Imagine a boot stomping on a lack of face forever.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 6:52 PM on October 24, 2013


If you look into his eyes you can tell he's an old sole.
posted by 23 at 7:07 PM on October 24, 2013 [4 favorites]


One of the earliest sites I remember, and possibly the earliest single serving site...


Abe Vigoda Status.
posted by The Whelk at 7:11 PM on October 24, 2013


World's Oldest Known Face.
posted by Floydd at 7:17 PM on October 24, 2013


That fish looks just like my uncle on Saturday morning.
posted by orme at 7:21 PM on October 24, 2013


Look, if I stare at a rock long enough I can see a "face".

Unfortunately for this fish, I couldn't make it long enough. I call bullshit.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 8:31 PM on October 24, 2013


*peers in mirror*

Yep. Distinct family resemblance.
posted by AdamCSnider at 9:57 PM on October 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


Holy crap, Joey Michaels, that is an incredibly subtle joke.

There is something fishy about that comment.
posted by y2karl at 12:07 AM on October 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


World's Oldest Known Face according to Doctor Who.
posted by Stoatfarm at 5:19 AM on October 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


. . .evolved into the tremendous diversity of animals that live on both land and sea—and that this ancient, strange-looking face belongs to one of your oldest ancestors.

Of course the actual probability is vanishingly small, and we could never actually know, but don't you get a thrill just contemplating that the fish in that photo could--just maybe--be your actual, factual, grandma?
posted by General Tonic at 9:40 AM on October 25, 2013


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