Darwin's posse just got mightier with the discovery of a prehistoric critter that represents a missing link in the evolutionary chain. "Fishapod" (Tiktaalik roseae
) was highly trained in martial arts and once vanquished ten Intelligent Design proponents with a single wu-shu thwack from his mighty tail!
The fossils of the approximately 9-ft. long creature, which are, described in two Nature articles released today, were dug out of rock formations on Ellesmere Island, in the Canadian Arctic, by paleontologists from the University of Chicago and several other institutions. Its nickame, for reasons that will become clear, is "fishapod"; it's more formally called Tiktaalik ("large fish in stream," in the local Inuit language). Fishapod dates from about 383 million years ago. It had the scales, teeth and gills of a fish, but also a big, curved rib cage that suggests the creature had lungs as well. The ribs interlock, moreover, unlike a fish's, implying they were able to bear fishapod's weight—an unnecessary trait in a fish. It had a neck—most unfishlike. And, most surprising of all, its pectoral fins included bones that look like nothing less than a primitive wrist and fingers.Link
's coverage (there's a podcast, too), here's something
in the Guardian
, and here's
article. Update: The BBC opened their TV news last night with a a great segment that's now available on their site. Link
, Click on "See the fossilized fish - Video" in upper right hand corner. (Thanks, John Brockman, John Parres, Jake, and everyone else!
) Image: Kalliopi Monoyios / University of Chicago
Reader comment: Michael Reeve says,
The podcast in Nature's coverage, would that be a tetrapodcast? I'm sorry.
Reader comment: Eli Laztanguren says,
Xeni wrote "(Tiktaalik roseae) was highly trained in martial arts and once vanquished ten Intelligent Design proponents with a single wu-shu thwack from his mighty tail!" The fact is that nobody knows about Tiktaalik roseae having a tail or not. They just found the front part of the fossil. They might need now another six years in the artic ice to recover, if lucky, some rear part of it. Anyway, it actually vanquished ten Intelligent Design proponents with a single wu-shu thwack from his mighty... JAW.
Alex Wood is an addict but won’t give up his smartphone. But he has five strategies for limiting its control over him: “I used to wake up tired. My body would ache and my head felt sore, like waking up with a hangover. Finally, I took control, like attending an AA class for addicts, I […]
We just got the Sport model of the EPIKGO hoverboard at my office. Besides being terribly chic, it’s apparently bulletproof.
Ok, it’s not just solar powered. It’s also an anti-theft, waterproof marvel that keeps my phone’s power bar from ever getting into the red.Sure the idea seems obvious now – tuck a gigantic solar powered battery pack into an exposed slot and turn the wearer into a walking energy harvester. Simple maybe, but I didn’t […]
When you can’t wait for the world’s longest meeting to end, the mindless leg bouncing makes your boredom obvious and just annoys everybody else. Everyone knows the TPS reports need the damn cover sheet, but some sadistic colleague keeps forgetting, probably on purpose just to eat into your lunch hour. Enough is enough!While serving a […]
What could be more fun than a slingshot that shoots tiny airplanes? A slingshot that shoots tiny glowing airplanes of course! These toy planes are outfitted with ultra-bright LEDs, so you can fly all night without losing them in the trees.Whether you are a regular-sized child, or an overgrown adult one, these light-up flyers offer […]
You know the drill. You go to the dentist and they ask you how often you floss. You lie through your teeth and say, “every day!” (Bonus points if you have some cilantro or chives stuck in your gums from lunch). You don’t want to keep up the charade any longer, but rubbing that tiny strand […]