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Wednesday, April 05, 2006
Fish Evolution - the transition to land
A new fossil has been discovered on Ellesmere Island in the Canadian Arctic that illustrates one of the transitional forms of sarcopterygian fishes as they evolved into land-dwellers. A report in the current issue of Nature, reported by the New York Times (Fossil Fish Sheds Light on Transition), describes adaptations to the neck and pectoral fin skeletal elements that allow for flexibility and weight-bearing.

The new fossil, named Tiktaalik roseae, also had overlapping ribs, which could have helped support the internal organs, but relatively unmodified jaws. Specimens ranged in size from 4 to 9 feet long, and its age was estimated at 375 million years, a time when that region experienced a subtropical climate.
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1 Comments on "Fish Evolution - the transition to land"
Very cool fossil! A transition fossil that appears to belong somewhere between fish and tetrapods.

And meanwhile, the creationists are grasping at straws by countering this finding with their cyclops kitty claim. Their claim is that the one-eyed cat is a 'sign' that evolution does not occur, because the mutant cat did not "improve upon" a previous phenotype. Clearly the creationists fail to grasp 1) evolution does not necessitate "improvement" as they seem to imply; and 2) mutations (the very stuff of evolution) can produce nonviable phenotypes.

Anonymous laja @ Sat Apr 08, 08:39:00 AM EDT  
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