New Arctic fossils fill evolutionary gap between fish and limbed animals

PHILADELPHIA -- The recent discovery above the Arctic Circle of remarkably well preserved fossils from a new species of ancient fish provides a key marker in the evolutionary transition of fish to limbed animals.

In two related articles highlighted on the April 6 cover of the journal Nature, Dr. Ted Daeschler of The Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia, co-leader of the expedition to Ellesmere Island, and his colleagues announced the discovery of 375-million-year-old fossils with numerous features that place them squarely at the evolutionary transition from fish to limbed animals. The new species has a skull, neck, ribs and part of a fin like the earliest limbed animals, but also has fins and scales like a fish.

The new species, named Tiktaalik roseae, shows that the evolution from life in water to life on land happened gradually in fish living in shallow water.

For about a century, scientists have been able to trace the broad outline of the millions-of-years-long transition of lobe-finned fish to limbed animals (tetrapods). The new find, however, is the most compelling evidence yet of an animal that was on the verge of the transition from water to land. "The find is a dream come true," said Daeschler, the Academy's curator of vertebrate biology. "We knew that the rocks on Ellesmere Island offered a glimpse into the right time period and were formed in the right kinds of environments to provide the potential for finding fossils documenting this important evolutionary transition."

Tiktaalik was a predator with sharp teeth, a crocodile-like head, and a flattened body that lived in what was then a subtropical climate. The quality of the fossils allowed the team to examine the joint surfaces on many of the fin bones and figure out that shoulder, elbow and wrist joints were capable of supporting the body like limbed animals. "Tiktaalik blurs the boundary between fish and land animals," said Dr. Neil Shubin of the University of Chi

Contact: Carolyn Bealrdo
The Academy of Natural Sciences

Page: 1 2 3

Related biology news :

1. Arctic Observing Network as a tool for understanding Arctic change
2. 1,000-year-old Arctic ponds disappearing due to global warming
3. Global warming is evaporating Arctic ponds, new study shows
4. Arctic spring comes weeks earlier than a decade ago
5. Study helps preserve Arctic whale, Eskimo subsistence hunt
6. Arctic ice retreating more quickly than computer models project
7. Worldwide research network needed to really understand what is changing in the Arctic
8. Scientists discover new life forms in the Arctic Ocean
9. Understanding the Arctic -- NSF-funded expeditions cover new ground in climate science
10. Methane devourer discovered in the Arctic
11. Continued warming of the Arctic Ocean

Post Your Comments:

(Date:4/11/2017)... , April 11, 2017 Crossmatch®, a ... authentication solutions, today announced that it has been ... Research Projects Activity (IARPA) to develop next-generation Presentation ... "Innovation has been a driving force ... program will allow us to innovate and develop ...
(Date:4/6/2017)... 2017 Forecasts by Product Type ... by End-Use (Transportation & Logistics, Government & Public Sector, ... Fossil Generation Facility, Nuclear Power), Industrial, Retail, Business Organisation ... Are you looking for a definitive report on the ... ...
(Date:4/4/2017)... NEW YORK , April 4, 2017   ... solutions, today announced that the United States Patent and ... The patent broadly covers the linking of an iris ... the same transaction) and represents the company,s 45 th ... our latest patent is very timely given the multi-modal ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/10/2017)... ... October 10, 2017 , ... ... advancing targeted antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) therapeutics, today confirmed licensing rights that give ... Liposomal Nanoparticle), a technology developed in collaboration with Children’s Hospital Los Angeles ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... 2017 SomaGenics announced the receipt of a ... RealSeq®-SC (Single Cell), expected to be the first commercially ... microRNAs) from single cells using NGS methods. The NIH,s ... accelerate development of approaches to analyze the heterogeneity of ... techniques for measuring levels of mRNAs in individual cells ...
(Date:10/9/2017)... ... 09, 2017 , ... The award-winning American Farmer television series will feature 3 ... airs Tuesdays at 8:30aET on RFD-TV. , With global population estimates nearing ten ... to continue to feed a growing nation. At the same time, many of our ...
(Date:10/7/2017)... ... October 06, 2017 , ... ... providing advanced instruments and applications consulting for microscopy and surface analysis, Nanoscience ... application consulting, Nanoscience Analytical offers a broad range of contract analysis services ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: