A man sells dried and salted fishes on a market in the southern coastal town of Novoazovsk, October 18, 2014. REUTERS/Shamil Zhumatov
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Scientists studying fossils have discovered that the intimate act of sexual intercourse used by humans was pioneered by ancient armoured fishes, called placoderms, about 385 million years ago in Scotland.In an important discovery in the evolutionary history of sexual reproduction, the scientists found that male fossils of the Microbrachius dicki, which belong to a placoderm group, developed bony L-shaped genital limbs called claspers to transfer sperm to females.Long, whose study was published in the journal Nature on Sunday, discovered the ancient fishes' mating abilities when he stumbled across a single fossil bone in the collections of the University of Technology in Tallinn, Estonia, last year.Long explained that "Microbrachius" means little arms, but said scientists have been baffled for centuries by what these bony paired arms were actually there for.
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