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Four-legged Creatures Emerged Earlier than Thought
Scientific Computing ^ | 1/9/10 | Raphael G. Satter

Posted on 01/09/2010 10:05:58 AM PST by null and void

The water-dwelling ancestors of modern-day mammals, reptiles and birds emerged onto land millions of years earlier than previously believed, researchers report. A set of fossilized footprints show that the first tetrapods — a term applied to any four-footed animal with a spine — were treading open ground 397 million years ago, well before scientists thought they existed. An expert unconnected with the research said the find would force experts to reconsider a critical period in evolution when sea-based vertebrates took their first steps toward becoming dinosaurs, mammals and — eventually — human beings. "It blows the whole story out of the water, so to speak," said Jenny Clack, a paleontologist at Cambridge University.

Until now, scientists thought they had the evolution from fin to foot fairly well understood. The earliest tetrapods had been traced to 385 million years ago. Experts theorized that they had split from their close relatives, a fleshy-finned family of fish, a few million years earlier and then gone on to conquer land.

But the new fossil footprints — uncovered between 2002 and 2007 in a disused quarry in central Poland — push the timing back by several million years, according to Grzegorz Pienkowski, the scientific director of the Polish Geological Institute in Warsaw, where most of the article's authors are based. He said the fossils had been securely dated from the deposits with which they were found.

Although at least some of the footprints may have been made in shallow water, paleontologist Per Ahlberg, one of the article's co-authors, said it was nevertheless clear from the shape of the toe prints and the nature of the sediment that the animals spent time walking around on land.

"We know from the site that you have rain drop prints and mud cracks in the sediment," he said, noting also that the prints appeared far too crisp to have been made underwater.

The find also challenges the commonly accepted notion that tetrapods colonized the surface from lakes or river beds. Ahlberg and his colleagues argued that the footprints were first created in what was probably a lagoon-like environment at the time, adding that a coastal location made sense because shifting tides could strand small marine animals, giving our fishy forebears an incentive to explore open land.

Although she acknowledged their importance, Clack warned against drawing conclusions exclusively on small marks left by animals on the bottom of a muddy surface hundreds of millions of years ago. She said it would be critical to see fossil evidence of the creature that made the footprints before coming to any definitive conclusion on exactly how, when and where vertebrates came to colonize the earth's surface.

Still, she said the new fossils would force scientists — herself included — to reconsider what it was that originally turned fish into land-lovers.

She said some theorized that tetrapods originally went ashore to lay their eggs out of reach of water-going predators or that their ancestors grew legs to scurry from pool to pool. She said she had personally favored the notion that fish emerged from oxygen-deprived waters in order, quite literally, to catch their breath.

All those theories were called into question by the Polish find, she said.

It wouldn't be logical for fish to lay their eggs in a place where the tide would wash right over them, for example, and the pool-hopping behavior wouldn't make sense in a coastal environment. As for her oxygen hypothesis, Clack said "that's probably out the window." The fossils suggested that tetrapods evolved well before marine oxygen levels started to drop, she said.

Ahlberg said paleontologists were already scouring the area for more evidence of footprints — and fossils of the animals themselves. "Obviously the hunt is on," he said.

The work appears in the journal Nature.


TOPICS: Culture/Society
KEYWORDS: belongsinchat; churchofdarwin; crevo; darwinliedpeopledied; evoisnotscience; excuseforatheism; godsgravesglyphs; oxygen; paleontology; piltdownmanapproves
My ancestors are older than your ancestors...
1 posted on 01/09/2010 10:06:00 AM PST by null and void
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To: null and void

I have found the missing link, his name is Adam. He was there all the time.


2 posted on 01/09/2010 10:14:02 AM PST by shineon
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To: null and void

The game is a foot.


3 posted on 01/09/2010 10:19:15 AM PST by tet68 ( " We would not die in that man's company, that fears his fellowship to die with us...." Henry V.)
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To: null and void

Maybe it was all a big mistake. Most Winters I spend big bucks to go somewhere with a beach and spend my time getting back into the ocean.


4 posted on 01/09/2010 10:22:34 AM PST by Random Access
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To: tet68

I had a Polish find for Thanksgiving, it was a Krakus Ham


5 posted on 01/09/2010 10:23:39 AM PST by shineon
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To: null and void

They’re 3% off! Evolution must be wrong.


6 posted on 01/09/2010 10:30:42 AM PST by Born to Conserve
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To: null and void
Until now, scientists thought they had the evolution from fin to foot fairly well understood.

Yes. Just like climatology.

7 posted on 01/09/2010 10:31:10 AM PST by Flycatcher (God speaks to us, through the supernal lightness of birds, in a special type of poetry.)
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To: Born to Conserve

I just did the math too. GMTA.


8 posted on 01/09/2010 10:37:00 AM PST by stormer
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To: null and void
Four-legged Creatures Emerged Earlier than Thought

Fifth day, IIRC.

9 posted on 01/09/2010 10:59:35 AM PST by Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus ("A politician who is poor is a poor politician." - Hank Gonzales)
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To: null and void

BUSH’S FAULT!


10 posted on 01/09/2010 11:00:55 AM PST by JusPasenThru (Are you going to kiss me first?)
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To: GodGunsGuts; Agamemnon; metmom; betty boop; Alamo-Girl

Piltdown science ping!


11 posted on 01/09/2010 11:01:24 AM PST by Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus ("A politician who is poor is a poor politician." - Hank Gonzales)
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To: GodGunsGuts; Agamemnon; metmom; betty boop; Alamo-Girl

Piltdown science ping!


12 posted on 01/09/2010 11:01:53 AM PST by Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus ("A politician who is poor is a poor politician." - Hank Gonzales)
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To: Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus; betty boop; Alamo-Girl; GodGunsGuts; Fichori; tpanther; ...
Until now, scientists thought they had the evolution from fin to foot fairly well understood.

Fairly well understood?

They find a few fossils, take some guesses about how it happened, and consider something that happened millions of years ago, that nobody saw or left a written record about, *fairly well understood*?

Still, [Clack] said the new fossils would force scientists — herself included — to reconsider what it was that originally turned fish into land-lovers.

She said some theorized that tetrapods originally went ashore to lay their eggs out of reach of water-going predators or that their ancestors grew legs to scurry from pool to pool. She said she had personally favored the notion that fish emerged from oxygen-deprived waters in order, quite literally, to catch their breath.

Science at its finest, I see. What a joke.

13 posted on 01/09/2010 11:20:35 AM PST by metmom (Welfare was never meant to be a career choice.)
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To: null and void
"Four-legged Creatures Emerged Earlier than Thought Emerged?"

or

"Four-legged Creatures Emerged Earlier than Previously Believed?"

14 posted on 01/09/2010 11:23:16 AM PST by Chunga (Any IDIOT who says Obama would be better for the country than McCain is a disgrace - Mark Levin)
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To: null and void

Its “Snap Your Finger” time again.


15 posted on 01/09/2010 11:28:24 AM PST by Allen In Texas Hill Country
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To: metmom

I’ve actually seen fish catch their breath out of water.
When an old pond was drained the fish didn’t have enough water so they came up on the banks of the pond.
They flopped around really fast for a while and then when they were all rested up they lay still. After a few days they evolved into big black birds and flew away.

Saw with my own eyes! and Yes, they left lots of tracks.


16 posted on 01/09/2010 11:56:09 AM PST by count-your-change (You don't have be brilliant, not being stupid is enough.)
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To: Chunga
LOL
Yea,the headline states that Four-legged Creatures came before Thought.
LOL, that may be true but that's not what the article's about.
LOL
17 posted on 01/09/2010 12:07:46 PM PST by Euker
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To: count-your-change
They flopped around really fast for a while and then when they were all rested up they lay still.

I'd think that when they got tired of all that flopping around, they decided to take a nap.

18 posted on 01/09/2010 12:09:17 PM PST by metmom (Welfare was never meant to be a career choice.)
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To: Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus
Well using Genesis to explain the Earth's biological history has always been a stretch. And this is a good example.

- Fifth day: God commands the sea to "teem with living creatures", and birds to fly across the heavens (sixth command)[Gen 1:20-21] He creates birds and sea creatures, and commands them to be fruitful and multiply.

- Sixth day: God commands the land to bring forth living creatures (seventh command);[Gen 1:24-25] He makes wild beasts, livestock and reptiles. He then creates Man and Woman in His "image" and "likeness" (eighth command).[Gen 1:26-28] They are told to "be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it."


Got that? Sea creatures and birds are made at the same time, while land animals come the next day. Yet all scientific evidence clearly shows that birds evolved from land animals (i.e. dinosaurs), not before them.

Explain that one away.


19 posted on 01/09/2010 12:12:40 PM PST by canuck_conservative
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To: canuck_conservative; Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus
Got that? Sea creatures and birds are made at the same time, while land animals come the next day. Yet all scientific evidence clearly shows that birds evolved from land animals (i.e. dinosaurs), not before them. Explain that one away.

Because you're dealing with an ASSUMPTION made about the fossil record, both that the the fossil record is complete enough to make that determination accurately and that the conclusions about what allegedly evolved from what is correct, since no one was there to see it.

The evidence merely shows what was alive at one time and died and happened to be preserved. It can show what other creatures existed in the same vicinity and at the same time, especially if they were fossilized together, but beyond that, is speculation, not fact.

You can't say Scripture is wrong, when you don't even know what *right* is and a guess, aka hypothesis, is not a hard fact.

20 posted on 01/09/2010 12:27:48 PM PST by metmom (Welfare was never meant to be a career choice.)
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To: metmom

[[She said she had personally favored the notion that fish emerged from oxygen-deprived waters in order, quite literally, to catch their breath.]]

Yep- they all held a meeting underwater- decided that their water breathing system good enough amd prayed to the goddess of evolution to evolve them some air breathing lngs, and by golly, the goddess delivered- oh, and she prvided legs, and all the necessary new muscle structures to bear the wieght of the little fishy-amhpibian-mammals to scurry about on too- then hid the evidence- she’s a trcky goddess to be sure- it’s simply amazing what the goddess can accomplish when noone is looking- Heck, even when they are looking- the godess just does it all behind closed doors and then destroys the evidence so noone can see th4e supposed transformations as they took place ‘millions of years ago’


21 posted on 01/09/2010 1:14:35 PM PST by CottShop (Scientific belief does not constitute scientific evidence, nor does it convey scientific knowledge)
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To: null and void
he water-dwelling ancestors of modern-day mammals, reptiles and birds emerged onto land millions of years earlier than previously believed, researchers report.

That sort of answers the question, doesn't it? I mean, the question of how long idiots and charlatans like the mgw crowd can go on with their BS after the whole thing has been utterly blown up and exposed as a fraud and criminal conspiracy. The answer, judging from darwinism and evoloserism is, decades and possibly centuries. Being an evoloser seems to mean, never having to acknowledtge your idiot ideological doctrine having been blown up.

22 posted on 01/09/2010 1:20:07 PM PST by wendy1946
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To: Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus

Thanks for the ping!


23 posted on 01/09/2010 1:22:13 PM PST by Alamo-Girl
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To: metmom

Genesis also makes no mention of primitive bacteria and slime molds, early life-forms which ARE in the fossil record and predate the first multi-cellular organisms (”sea creatures”) by hundreds of millions, if not billions, of years.


24 posted on 01/09/2010 1:45:39 PM PST by canuck_conservative
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To: metmom
Ya mean da fish sleep wit da fishes?
25 posted on 01/09/2010 2:09:34 PM PST by count-your-change (You don't have be brilliant, not being stupid is enough.)
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To: metmom
Fascinating, mom. Thanks for the ping.

A splendid example of Science doing its job just as envisioned when first assigned so long ago by Western Civilization to set out upon its fact-finding mission.

( ^8 }

26 posted on 01/09/2010 2:31:01 PM PST by YHAOS
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To: canuck_conservative

So?

The Bible doesn’t make mention of a lot of things.

Isn’t it long enough for you already?


27 posted on 01/09/2010 3:49:17 PM PST by metmom (Welfare was never meant to be a career choice.)
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To: shineon

No - this is all wrong - the science is settled - the debate is over. It was 385M years ago. Quick - destroy the raw data.

Real scientists say the science is settled, the debate is over. And only real scientists destroy their raw data.


28 posted on 01/09/2010 10:37:05 PM PST by OldTypeAmerican (Recession: Friend loses his job. Depression: You lose your job. Recovery: Obama loses his job.)
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29 posted on 07/27/2010 3:04:43 PM PDT by SunkenCiv ("Fools learn from experience. I prefer to learn from the experience of others." -- Otto von Bismarck)
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