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Latest Jennifer Clack Stories

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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...

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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...


Word of the Day
call-note
  • The call or cry of a bird or other animal to its mate or its young.
'Call-note' is newer than 'bird-call,' which originally referred to 'an instrument for imitating the note of birds' but now also refers to 'the song or cry of a bird.'
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