Latest Tetrapod Stories
In Part I, we talked about how tetrapods, a group of animals including whales, dolphins, seals and sea turtles, returned to the sea having once survived on land. Other creatures such as snakes and elephants may also have changed their habitat multiple times.
The world’s largest living amphibian, the Chinese giant salamander (Andrias davidianus), is capable of feeding not only on prey located directly in from of it, but also on creatures which approach from the side, thanks to a newly-discovered quick-strike technique.
This ugly fish uses water to form a tongue-like apparatus to help it eat on land.
Environment was just right--a 'Goldilocks effect'-- for well-preserved swim tracks from the Early Triassic age.
Lungfish and salamanders can hear, despite not having an outer ear or tympanic middle ear. These early terrestrial vertebrates were probably also able to hear 300 million years ago, as shown in a new study by Danish researchers.
While the fossil record has found that wrists and fingers have an aquatic origin, previous attempts to link fingers and fins have proven unsuccessful. Now, though, a team led by University of Chicago researchers has discovered the reason why: scientists were studying the wrong fish.
About 400 million years ago a group of fish began exploring land and evolved into tetrapods – today's amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals. But just how these ancient fish used their fishy bodies and fins in a terrestrial environment and what evolutionary processes were at play remain scientific mysteries.
The evolution of hind legs actually began as enhanced hind fins, according to the newly discovered, well-preserved pelvis and a partial pelvic fin from Tiktaalik roseae—a 375 million-year old transitional species between fish and the first legged animals.
Why did animals with limbs win the race to invade land over those with fins?
The evolutionary path from the bone structure of the fish to the complex, weight-bearing hips of walking animals was a much simpler process than previously thought, according to a new study.
- To befool; deceive; balk; jilt.
- An illusion; a trick; a cheat.