Fishes first appeared in the Cambrian period, over 520 million years ago, and have a rich fossil history to the present day. Today they are the most diverse group of vertebrates, with over 17,000 living species.
Research and expertise at the Museum spans the full period of fish history.
Current research projects cover the:
These studies focus on the evolution and development of vertebrate teeth and the postcranial skeleton. They combine information from palaeontological, developmental and molecular data.
Fishes form a substantial part of the fossil fauna of the Early Paleogene of Mali but have not been properly identified or described. Learn what the Palaeontology Department is doing to rectify this.
The Museum has recently acquired a complete specimen of the extinct shark Wodnika. This is being compared with other fossil specimens to identify new morphological characters and investigate the evolutionary relationships of sharks.
A one-day symposium to celebrate the 150th anniversary of naturalist and fossil fish specialist Sir Arthur Smith Woodward. Find out more about Woodward and book your free place at the event on 21 May 2014 at the Natural History Museum.