ISCID News Editor
Member # 1417
posted 19. April 2006 11:29
Source: Harvard University Gazette
Missing link crawls out of muck
Newly found species fills evolutionary gap between fish and land animals
By Steve Bradt
Paragraph's 3 and 4
"This previously unknown, extinct animal represents the beginning of the emergence of fish onto land, and the evolutionary transformation of fins into limbs," says Farish A. Jenkins Jr., Alexander Agassiz Professor of Zoology at Harvard and curator of mammalogy and vertebrate paleontology at Harvard's Museum of Comparative Zoology. "The skeletal material is three-dimensional and exquisitely preserved; most material this old tends to be flattened or otherwise distorted. The geometry of the limb joints clearly indicates that segments of the fin could move independently. The 'shoulder' and 'elbow' could flex, and the 'wrist' could extend, converting the fin into postures appropriate to support the body from below and propel the animal on land."
"Tiktaalik blurs the boundary between fish and land-living animal both in terms of its anatomy and its way of life," says Neil Shubin, professor and chairman of organismal biology at the University of Chicago.
[ 19. April 2006, 11:38: Message edited by: ISCID News Editor ]