First Sex Occurred in Water: Now We Know

by Gene Franks

Copulation in progress.  If you’re 18 or older, you can see an animated version of the primitive sex act here.

On October 19, 2014, the prestigious British science journal Nature reported findings by Professor John Long et al of Flinders University which it hailed as “one of the biggest discoveries in the evolutionary history of sexual reproduction.”

Nature  a couple of weeks ago rejected as “too controversial” a paid advertisement from the Dr. Bronner soap company  which presented solid research linking GMO agriculture to excessive use of pesticides, but the  journal did not hesitate to give its hearty endorsement  to conclusions about events that took place 385 million years ago and that might not be completely convincing to everyone.

Professor Long et al. “found that internal fertilisation and copulation appeared in ancient armoured fishes, called placoderms, about 385 million years ago in what is now Scotland.” Long reached this conclusion after stumbling across a single fossil bone in the collections of the University of Technology in Tallinn, Estonia last year.  Long concluded that the bone is a “clasper” or primitive penis as it were.  The discovery, Long says, ” now pushes the origin of copulation back even further down the evolutionary ladder, to the most basal of all jawed animals. Basically it’s the first branch off the evolutionary tree where these reproductive strategies started.”

You can read the full account of Dr. Long’s discovery and see a computer simulation of a 385 million year old placoderm tryst on the Archaeology News Network.