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Latest Acanthostega Stories

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2010-01-07 06:50:00

Fossilized footprints of a mysterious, long-extinct creature in a Polish quarry have caused paleontologists to reconsider traditional thinking of how sea-based vertebrates moved to land. Until now, scientists have thought they understood the evolutionary transition from fin to foot fairly well. One of the key theories in evolutionary biology is that tetrapods, four-legged animals with a spine, came from fish that had pairs of lobed fins. Fish called elpistostegids were the intermediate stage...

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2009-07-07 06:45:00

Nearly everyone can recall the high school textbook illustrations of the planet's first land-dwelling creatures, ubiquitously represented as comic-looking fish with short, stumpy legs.  A team of paleontologists, however, are challenging these standard depictions, saying that the earth's first tetrapods were for more diverse than previously suspected. "Some looked like crocodiles, some looked like little lizards, some like moray eels, and some were snake-like," explained Jennifer Clack...

2009-04-20 14:10:00

The fossil record usually shows what adult animals looked like. But the appearance and lifestyle of juvenile animals often differ dramatically from those of the adults. A classic example is provided by frogs and salamanders. New discoveries from Uppsala, Cambridge and Duke Universities, published in Science, show that some of the earliest backboned land animals also underwent such changes of lifestyle as they grew up. Professor Per Ahlberg at the Department of Physiology and Developmental...

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2009-04-18 14:00:00

New research from Duke University suggests a reversal in the order in which two four-limbed creatures transitioned from water to land.The Ichthyostega and Acanthostega, lived some 360-370 million years ago in modern-day Greenland.Scientists had previously considered Acanthostega to be the first vertebrate animal to possess limbs with digits rather than fish fins, but Viviane Callier, a Duke University graduate student, found fossilized evidence to suggest that Acanthostega may have had a...

2008-06-26 09:00:00

Scientists believe the discovery of well-preserved fossils in Latvia may explain the evolutionary history of how our ancestors moved from water to land.  Swedish researchers have reconstructed parts of the animal, which had a fish-like body but a head that appears better suited to land than water. The four-legged fish, known as Ventastega curonica, would have looked similar to a small alligator, the scientists say, and may in part explain the process of evolution. Researchers Per...


Word of the Day
cacodemon
  • An evil spirit; a devil.
  • A nightmare.
  • In astrology, the twelfth house of a scheme or figure of the heavens: so called from its signifying dreadful things, such as secret enemies, great losses, imprisonment, etc.
'Cacodemon' comes from a Greek term meaning 'evil genius.'
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