Darwinian Evolution in Action:The moment fish began evolving fingers

Discussion in 'Biology & Genetics' started by paddoboy, Mar 20, 2020.

  1. paddoboy Valued Senior Member


    Extraordinary fossil isolates the moment fish began evolving fingers
    By Loz Blain
    March 19, 2020

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    An artist's impression of Elpistostege as it may have looked nearly 400 million years ago

    Described as "the missing evolutionary link in the fish to tetrapod transition," a fascinating Canadian fossil reveals an ancient fish species with arm, hand and finger bones similar to our own, wrapped in fins.

    Found some 10 years ago in the Miguasha National Park in Canada's Southeast, the 157-cm (61.8-in) specimen dates back to somewhere between 393 and 359 million years ago, a period called the Late Devonian age in which a certain family of fish were beginning to experiment with coming out of the water. These adventurous little fellas eventually evolved into the entire family of tetrapods, or four-legged vertebrates, a family that includes dinosaurs, reptiles, birds, amphibians, whales, dolphins, seals, sea turtles and mammals – including humans. Quite a legacy.

    Moving out of the water was one of the most profound and mysterious evolutionary leaps in history, and besides needing to develop a way to breathe dry oxygen, these fish found it difficult to support their weight and move on dry land. That is, until some of them started exhibiting rudimentary arms.

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    Xelasnave.1947 and Write4U like this.
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  3. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    If a small fish can turn into a large land animal seems unlikely to a skeptical audience, perhaps this example may shed some light on the remarkable ability of some species of fish to take advantage of favorable conditions.

    When we look at a goldfish in a bowl, we see a small, cute and gentle little fish, bred for our viewing enjoyment.. If we take this little fish and release it in a lake, this cute harmless little thing can grow into an 85 lbs monster that devours every living thing in the lake.

    Thus, once on land with abundand plant and insect food but still without any predators, evolution is quite capable of turning a small fish into a large variety of herbivores and carnivores, with unlimited growth potential in an oxygen rich land environment.
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  5. exchemist Valued Senior Member


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  7. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    In furtherance of post #2 .

    Goldfish are replacing carp as the scourge of Hamilton Harbour

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    Yet as the carp declined, goldfish have increased in recent years. Descendants of fish discarded from aquariums or washed out of artificial ponds have multiplied like crazy, moving into areas of the harbour vacated by carp.

    But here is the kicker: scientists are discovering that goldfish — which are actually a small member of the carp family — are even more destructive than the common carp and causing new problems.


    This is not to prove that goldfish (carp) can evolve into land mammals . Obviously the illustrated precursor to land animals in post #1 does not belong to the carp family.

    The point being that evolution from very small to very big can be demonstrated by this simple example and over short periods of time.
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2020

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