When you delve back 500 million years into the history of life on earth, the honorific "first fish" loses some of its meaning. Thanks to the notochord (the primitive precursor of a true spinal column) that rand down the length of its back, Pikaia was not only the first fish, but the first vertebrate animal, and thus ancestral to mammals, dinosaurs, birds, and innumerable other types of creature. For the record, Pikaia was about two inches long, and so thin that it was probably translucent. It's named after Pika Peak in Canada, near where its fossils were discovered.
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