(29/12/2011) A prehistoric fish that has no brain and no face has now been discovered in the seas off Scotland.
The Amphioxus fish is representative of the first animals that evolved a backbone half a billion years ago.
The fish was found in the waters off Tankerness in Orkney by marine surveyors. Instead of a brain or face, the fish has a nerve cord running down its back. And that's it.
The species was unearthed in a series of 15 marine surveys in 2011, covering around 5,200 sq km. The scientists found dozens of strange species in the waters. Giant mussels with shells measuring up to 48cm (18in), were also discovered.
"In an age where the lands of the world have been mapped out and recorded, it's amazing how many discoveries are waiting to be found under the waves. The waters around Scotland are rich in such fascinating biodiversity and it's our responsibility to protect this fragile environment," Scottish environment secretary Richard Lochhead said.
Image: Andrew Want/Martine Scotland