Ancient “Fishapod” Had Powerful Rear Fins


Life restoration of Tiktaalik roseae, a transi...

Life restoration of Tiktaalik roseae, a transitional fossil (“missing link”) between sarcopterygian fishes and tetrapods from the late Devonian period of North America. Original description: “Fossil fish bridges evolutionary gap between animals of land and sea.” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A new study of 375 million-year-old Tiktaalik roseae fossils discovered on Canada‘s Ellesmere Island in 2004 is changing the way scientists think about vertebrates‘ evolutionary transition from water to land. Until now, it was widely believed that tetrapods were the first vertebrates to possess large, powerful hind appendages. However, researchers examining the fossils of the ancient tetrapodomorph—a creature possessing features of both fish and land-dwelling tetrapods—have found that it actually had a large pelvic girdle and large, powerful rear fins that may have been used in a leg-like manner at times. More… Discuss


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