Skip to main content
  1. News
  2. Science & Space

New fossil discovery shows fish emerged on land with four limbs

See also

The first known fossils of the rear-end of Tiktaalik roseae show that the first fish that crawled onto land to become land animals had a well-developed hind limb according to research published by Dr. Neil Shubin, Robert R. Bensley Distinguished Service Professor of Anatomy at the University of Chicago, and Dr. Edward Daeschler, Associate Curator of Vertebrate Zoology at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, in the Jan. 13, 2014, issue of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

More Photos

Tiktaalik roseae is a transitional species between fish and the first legged animals that lived about 375 million years ago. The animal lived in freshwater and could reach lengths of nine feet. Tiktaalik roseae had gills, fins, and scales. The animal also had primitive lungs, a sturdy ribcage, and a movable neck.

Previously discovered specimens of Tiktaalik roseae have large front fins with well-developed shoulders and partial wrists. These features are thought to have allowed the animal to crawl.

The newly discovered rear halves of Tiktaalik roseae have a fully developed pelvic girdle with a hip socket that attached to long pelvic fins that were capable of supporting the fish on land.

The new discovery indicated that the first fish that crawled onto land most likely did so with four limbs. The previous theory that fish used only the front limbs to emerge onto land is not consistent with the new fossil evidence.

Advertisement

News

  • Mt. Everest avalanche
    Disaster strikes Mt. Everest as at least 12 people were killed in an avalanche
    Video
    Watch Video
  • Most Earthlike planet discovered
    The Kepler telescope has discovered the most Earthlike, possibly habitable planet yet
    Space News
  • Easter crosses create debate
    Easter crosses spark a debate of separation of church and state in Ohio
    Headlines
  • Chelsea Clinton is preggers
    Former first daughter Chelsea Clinton is pregnant with her first child
    Headlines
  • Stanley Cup playoffs
    The battle for Lord Stanley's Cup is on, don't miss a minute of playoff action
    Sports
  • Ukraine discussed amongst U.S., E.U., Russia
    The U.S., E.U. and Russia agree on ways to diffuse the tension in Ukraine
    Video
    Watch Video

Related Videos:

  • LADEE mission ends with impact on lunar surface
    <div class="video-info" data-id="518201429" data-param-name="playList" data-provider="5min" data-url="http://pshared.5min.com/Scripts/PlayerSeed.js?sid=1304&width=480&height=401&playList=518201429&autoStart=true"></div>
  • Kepler-186 Sol Comparison
    <div class="video-info" data-id="518200618" data-param-name="playList" data-provider="5min" data-url="http://pshared.5min.com/Scripts/PlayerSeed.js?sid=1304&width=480&height=401&playList=518200618&autoStart=true"></div>
  • Purchase Your Pair of Google Glass Today
    <div class="video-info" data-id="518193403" data-param-name="playList" data-provider="5min" data-url="http://pshared.5min.com/Scripts/PlayerSeed.js?sid=1304&width=480&height=401&playList=518193403&autoStart=true"></div>

User login

Log in
Sign in with your email and password. Or reset your password.
Write for us
Interested in becoming an Examiner and sharing your experience and passion? We're always looking for quality writers. Find out more about Examiner.com and apply today!