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IPFS News Link • Biology, Botany and Zoology

From fins to hips to legs: Scientists reveal evolution’s first steps

  The 375 million year old fossil is from the pelvic region of Tiktaalik roseae, believed to be a transitional species. What’s so shocking is that the fossil indicates that animals developed increasingly stronger rear appendages before they sprouted legs.

That may not be so surprising to some, and in fact downright logical: If you’re an animal that wishes to exist on land, it would be awfully helpful to work on growing a set of legs first. That makes sense now, but earlier, long-held theories suggested that the first intrepid explorers to venture out of the sea did so by using their front limbs, with the rear limbs playing a very small role. Previous research suggested that the evolution of legs started with organisms already on land.

1 Comments in Response to

Comment by PureTrust
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From the article: "African lungfish, for example, have been observed using their hind fins to 'walk' along the seafloor."

So then they decided... we just love walking. So, we're gonna develop legs that will be useful on land as well as walking on the sea bottom. And not only that, we are going to do it by mutation using natural selection. And if any of our buddies want to remain with fins rather than legs, we're going to form a government that will force them to change. And our government will last thousands of years longer than the longest lasting government of our future penultimate, man. And to top it all off, it'll take man at least hundreds of years to figure out how we did it, if he ever does.

Wonderful how the sea creatures of the ancient past thought.