Friday, October 20, 2006

 

Ancient Fish Fossil May Rewrite Story of Animal Evolution

From National Geographic News: A fish that swam on an ancient barrier reef in Australia 380 million years ago had fins and nostrils remarkably similar to the limbs and ears of the first four-limbed creatures to walk on land, according to a new study.

Four-limbed land animals, also known as tetrapods, such as modern amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals, evolved from lobed-finned fish.

That transition from water to land has long fascinated scientists, but the fossil record of how it occurred is still incomplete.

The new finding suggests that certain aspects of tetrapod ears and limbs can be traced much further back in "fishy looking" fish than had been previously known, says John Long, head of sciences at Museum Victoria in Melbourne, Australia.

Continued at "Ancient Fish Fossil May Rewrite Story of Animal Evolution"
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Based on "An exceptional Devonian fish from Australia sheds light on tetrapod origins" (Abstract)

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