Skip to comments.Fish fossil fills evolutionary gap
Posted on 10/21/2006 8:10:12 PM PDT by Jeff Gordon
A 380 million-year-old fossil found in Australia has filled a gap in the understanding of how fish evolved into the first land animals.
John Long, lead researcher at Museum Victoria, said the perfectly preserved skeleton has revealed that fish developed features characteristic of land animals much earlier than once thought.
Long said: "We've got a fish from the Devonian period about 380 million years ago and preserved in three-dimensional stunning perfection.
"It has revealed a whole suite of characters that link it to the higher land animals or tetrapods, so it's filling in a blank in evolution we didn't know about before."
The fossil of the Gogonasus fish, found in the remote Kimberley region of Western Australia, at a site of a former major coral reef, shows the skull had large holes for breathing through the top of the head.
The researchers said it also had muscular front fins with a well-formed humerus, ulna and radius, the same bones found in the human arm.
Long said: "The degree to which these features resemble the earliest four-legged land animals makes Gogonasus a new model in the picture of how fishes evolved into land animals.
"Gogonasus is the missing clue in vertebrate evolution, the world's first complete perfect skeleton of the kinds of fishes that gave rise to the first land animals.
"The transition from a fish living in water to an air-breathing land animal with arms and legs was one of the most dramatic transitions in the history of evolution and many unsolved questions remained."
Earlier this year, scientists reported the discovery of Tiktaalik roseae, a 375 million-year-old species of fish seen as the missing link in the shift from water to land animals.
While Tiktaalik had a skull that was identical to an amphibian, Long said Gogonasus looks much more like a fish.
He said: "I like to say it's a wolf in sheep's clothing. It's showing that evolution isn't as straightforward as we'd like to think."
The fossil was unveiled at the Melbourne Museum on Thursday and will remain on display for a month.
I wish they had offered a photo.
I love fossils. My collection is short of a museum, but it's pretty neat.
I thought Muslims were strictly creationists!
Will wonders never cease.
People actually believe this crap. Too funny.
Way to efficiently dismantle the argument for evolution.
I bet you showed up here just to see if I'd post that damn picture again.
What argument? Holes in a fish head?
Seriously as an ex-evolutionist I have a hard time not laughing at these feeble attempts to explain away God and Creation.
People believe a lot of stuff. Some of us actually believe in the concept of time ~ others don't.
You know people who don't believe in the concept of time?
Do you doubt the head is 380 million years old?
You are aware there are these things called "Scientific Journals" where they actually publish really long and detailed analyses of these fossils with diagrams and a crapload of cites, right? More than a couple simplistic paragraphs in some MSM article or website by an idiot journalist..
Ever read one?
It's curious that this link leads to Aljazeera SMS Mobile Service
$1000 cash, in small, unmarked bills, in a brown paper bag, to the first person who can demonstrate a time event that is NOT a kinetic energy event, at some rate.
I don't believe it validates evolution anyway.