Flounder and other flatfish are evolutionarily unique, with flattened bodies and both eyes on one side of their head. Their form enables them to ambush prey from the seafloor. 

Their appearance has baffled biologists and has been used to challenge Darwin's theory of evolution. However, fossils discovered by Matt Friedman now reaffirm that natural selection gradually shaped the flatfish body from an ordinary-looking ancestral fish.

A current debate in the scientific community is over whether the flatfish's body plan evolved once or twice. Newer research by Matt and colleagues supports a single origin, positing that the complexity of changes involved makes two separate evolutionary events unlikely. The controversy remains unresolved as scientists continue to explore flatfish DNA for definitive answers.

Read the full article in The New York Times here.