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Latest Tetrapod 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...

2008-08-03 03:00:06

By Bell, Michael A PALEONTOLOGY Variations on a Theme YOUR INNER FISH: A Journey into the 3.5-Billion-Year History of the Human Body. Neil Shubin. x + 229 pp. Pantheon Books, 2008. $24. Ernst Haeckel's punchy three- word slogan "Ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny" has earned a certain immortality-never mind that it's wrong. Each species does not, as Haeckel claimed, retrace its evolutionary history as it develops, with human embryos going through fish and reptile stages. But that's not to say...

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...

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2008-06-08 20:00:00

For the first time paleontologists have found fossilized burrows of tetrapods "“ any land vertebrates with four legs or leglike appendages "“ in Antarctica dating from the Early Triassic epoch, about 245 million years ago.The fossils were created when fine sand from an overflowing river poured into the animals' burrows and hardened into casts of the open spaces. The largest preserved piece is about 14 inches long, 6 inches wide and 3 inches deep. No animal remains were found...

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2008-04-07 11:35:00

Researchers have confirmed the first case of complete lunglessness in a frog, according to a report in the April 8th issue of Current Biology, a publication of Cell Press. The aquatic frog Barbourula kalimantanensis apparently gets all the oxygen it needs through its skin.Previously known from only two specimens, two new populations of the aquatic frog were found by the team during a recent expedition to Indonesian Borneo. "We knew that we would have to be very lucky just to find the frog,"...

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2008-01-18 10:12:40

The full recovery of ecological systems, following the most devastating extinction event of all time, took at least 30 million years, according to new research from the University of Bristol. About 250 million years ago, at the end of the Permian, a major extinction event killed over 90 per cent of life on earth, including insects, plants, marine animals, amphibians, and reptiles. Ecosystems were destroyed worldwide, communities were restructured and organisms were left struggling to recover....

2005-07-12 23:40:00

Fossil' fish coelacanth, first dragged up along the coast of South Africa in 1938, having been considered extinct for 65 million years. Because of its close resemblance to land animals, it has attracted attention to the subject of a 'missing link' between tetrapods and humans. Dr. Chris Amemiya will be presenting his work on the generation and utilization of genomic resources for the Indonesian coelacanth on Wednesday 13th July at the Society for Experimental Biology Annual Main Meeting in...