Tetrapod

Genome of ancient-looking fish gives clues to first limbed landlubbers

Publication: NBC News   Date: April 17, 2013   View Article

The genome of the coelacanth, an ancient-looking lobed-finned fish, has been sequenced and is already providing insight to the evolutionary changes that allowed the first four-limbed animals, called tetrapods, to crawl out of the water and on to land.

The sequence and preliminary analysis, reported Thursday in the journal Nature by a team spanning 40 research institutions and 12 countries, is a “massive piece of work,” Xiaobo Xu, a paleontologist at Kean University who was not involved in the effort, told NBC News in an email.

Oldest Land Walker Tracks Found – Pushes Back Evolution

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: January 6, 2010   View Article

The first vertebrates to walk the Earth emerged from the sea almost 20 million years earlier than previously thought, say scientists who have discovered footprints from an 8-foot-long (2.4-meter-long) prehistoric creature.

Dozens of the 395-million-year-old fossil footprints were recently discovered on a former marine tidal flat or lagoon in southeastern Poland.

Early 4-Legged Animal Moved Like Inchworm, Study Says

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: August 31, 2005   View Article

One of the first four-legged creatures that walked on land had an inchwormlike gait, a new study says.

The creature, known as Ichthyostega, lived in a floodplain environment on Greenland during the Devonian period, about 360 to 410 million years ago.

About three feet (one meter) long, Ichthyostega looked like a cross between a fish and a crocodile. Its four limbs allowed it to move, for short distances, on land.

Fins to Limbs: New Fossil Gives Evolution Insight

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: April 1, 2004   View Article

Today researchers announced their discovery of a 365-million-year-old fossil limb bone of an ancient tetrapod. Tetrapods, including humans, are four-limbed animals with backbones. The fossil was found during road construction that revealed an ancient streambed.

Scientists say the find will help shed light on how early animals evolved limbs from fins. This crucial adaptation enabled Earth’s animal life to crawl from water to land.

Tetrapod Fossil Found – First Ever in Asia

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: December 18, 2002   View Article

Tetrapods, Earth’s oldest four-limbed creatures, walked along the ancient Chinese coastline as early as 355 million years ago, according to a fossilized jaw bone discovered and analyzed by an international team of scientists.

The fossil is evidence that the first vertebrates with limbs—not fins—colonized most of the planet and evolved a diverse range of forms within a relatively short period of time, the team reports in the December 19 issue of the journal Nature.

© 2008-2010 Collected Writings By John Roach