Australasian Science: Australia's authority on science since 1938

The First Breath


Gogonasus, the 380-million-year-old fossil sarcopterygian fish from Gogo in Western Australia, had large spiracles on its head to enable it to breathe air. Illustration: Brian Choo

By John Long

The African reedfish Polypterus has revealed how breathing first evolved in terrestrial animals, and perhaps how the structures of the ear first formed.

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