Friday, April 07, 2006

Another gap filled in

In the evolutionary chain, that is: scientists working in the Canadian arctic just found the fossil of a new fish-like species whose fins show early adaptation to weight-bearing and limb development. In fact, the whole thing is starting to look a bit like a flippered alligator.
Embedded in the pectoral fins were bones that compare to the upper arm, forearm and primitive parts of the hand of land-living animals. The joints of the fins appeared to be capable of functioning for movement on land, a case of a fish improvising with its evolved anatomy. In all likelihood, the scientists said, Tiktaalik flexed its proto-limbs mainly on the floor of streams and might have pulled itself up on the shore for brief stretches.
Won't do anything to convince the creationists, of course, but pretty neat from a purely scientific viewpoint.

(via Follow Me Here)

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