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.
With the cacophony of an election year ablaze with unparalleled drama being fought on the front lines of Twitter, we find ourselves slowing down and staring at it like a bad accident. The need for escapist relief is perhaps more dire than usual right now. This fall, if it’s drama you crave, but the Hillary […]
Today a future without schools. Instead of gathering students into a room and teaching them, everybody learns on their own time, on tablets and guided by artificial intelligence. Flash Forward: RSS | iTunes | Twitter | Facebook | Web | Patreon | RedditIn this episode we talk to a computer scientist who developed an artificially […]
Where are our petabyte drives? Brian Hayes takes us through the reasons storage is “stuck” in the low terabytes. The tl;dr is that we got such exceptional capacity growth in the late 90s and early 00s we don’t need much more right now, so the focus since then has been on SSDs, networking, interfaces, etc, […]
To be a Pokémon master, you’ll need a phone that won’t constantly die on you. Because nothing is worse than seeing the screen go black right as you’ve finally found the Charizard of your dreams.That’s why we’re so excited about the LinearFlux PokeCharger Portable Battery ($39.99). With its 3.0 Amp HyperCharging technology, this slim battery will […]
The tech industry is constantly innovating, and in order to stay competitive, you’ll need to keep up. The Programming Into the Future Bundle was created to teach you the skills employers are looking for at this very moment, including in-demand coding languages like Google Go.The bundle of courses includes instruction on a range of innovative tools that advanced coders […]
If you’re running low on MacBook storage, your options are pretty limited. External hard drives mean toting around another piece of bulky equipment, and you probably don’t want a USB stick constantly protruding from your laptop.That’s why the Nifty MiniDrive for MacBooks is such a desirable alternative, and one of our top tech finds this year. You can add […]