Fish Fossil Challenges Standard View on Evolution
Ancient creature suggests animals developed legs before moving to land
By John Johnson, Newser Staff
Posted Jan 15, 2014 4:26 PM CST
Stock image. The first creatures to emerge from the water may have already had legs.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Conventional wisdom has it that the first creatures to emerge from the water eons ago did so without hind limbs. Conventional wisdom, meet Tiktaalik roseae. As the Boston Globe explains, Tiktaalik is a 375-million-year-old fish that swam in what is now the Canadian Arctic. Researchers already knew that the fish had front fins akin to limbs, but a new study of its large pelvis suggests that the creature had similar hind features, too. "The fins undoubtedly were employed as paddles to swim, but might also have been used in a leg-like way on occasions," observes the BBC.

The upshot from the study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences is that some creatures might have developed legs, or something very much like them, while still living in the water, reports LiveScience. “It’s what we’ve all been waiting for,” says a Cambridge paleontologist not involved with the study. "Until this discovery, we weren’t able to see the changes by which the pelvic fins of the fish became much larger and more robust, and gradually turned into the tetrapod hind limb.”

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iq145
Jan 15, 2014 10:23 PM CST
Well, they had to have had some kind of "precursor to legs" to be able to "walk" out of the oceans and onto land, didn't they? Logic: To be able to breathe air, you'd need to develop air-processing lungs first, THEN head onto land. Not leave the water, then evolve lungs. Ironic reversal: Whales had legs when they stepped back INTO the oceans for the first time, then atrophied them away...
flin1
Jan 15, 2014 10:05 PM CST
I was watching some fishing show on cable recently and at the end of the show, the head fish catcher had a little shore side chat with his audience. He started talking about evolution and was shocked that this was actually being taught to our children in school! Then he said to imagine if you went to ancestry.com and started going further and further back. And he said that evolution would say that if you went back far enough on ancestry.com you would find an ape. And then if you went further you'd find a monkey and then a chipmunk and them maybe a mosquito and then a blob of goo! He looked knowingly into the camera and said something like 'It gives you something to think about, doesn't it?'
busteroni
Jan 15, 2014 9:50 PM CST
the only thing that is evolving is that stupid theory.