Monday, June 30, 2008

On the Heels of Tiktaalik!

The fossil of the most primitive 4-legged creature has been found at a depth of 365 million years, which is around the same time as Tiktaalik lived. The LA Times story notes:

While an earlier discovery found a slightly older animal that was more fish than tetrapod, Ventastega is more tetrapod than fish. The fierce-looking creature probably swam through shallow brackish waters, measured about three or four feet long and ate other fish. It likely had stubby limbs with an unknown number of digits, scientists said.

"If you saw it from a distance, it would look like a small alligator, but if you look closer you would find a fin in the back," said lead author Per Ahlberg, a professor of evolutionary biology at Uppsala University in Sweden. "I imagine this is an animal that could haul itself over sand banks without any difficulty. Maybe it's poking around in semi-tidal creeks picking up fish that got stranded."

Another piece of the puzzle. Yay.

No comments:

Post a Comment