Green Guide

New fossil-find sheds light on fin-to-limb evolution process

recently found in northern wyoming the fossil of a

We all know that limbs improved for locomotor-efficiency, but how did they actually evolve? Researchers have long established the fact that early limb-evolution started at the late Cambrian period, moving forward until specialized pentadactyle limbs appear in the Tertiary.

Though the link between the fish-fins and the evolution of limbs has been well-established, the undergone process has stayed clouded, until recently, a 400 million-year-old fossilized fin from a strange-looking, primitive fish has been discovered.

It eventually is shedding light on how fins evolved into limbs, enabling animals to walk on land. The fossilized fin discovered is from a type of lobe-finned fish — ‘coelacanth.’

Being the only skeletal fin remains from the extinct relatives of today’s living coelacanths found till date, the four-inch-long specimen is significant in furthering the study on the fin evolution process.

Predicted from the size of the newfound fin, the fish dubbed — Shoshinia arctopteryx — would have been about 18 to 24 inches in length, when alive. Named after the Shoshine people and the Shoshone National Forest, the fish was spotted in Beartooth Butte in northern Wyoming.

This new discovery has crumbled the long-time assumption that the living coelacanths and their lungfish relatives are the accurate models of their ancestors that swam the waters hundreds of millions of years ago – and has opened new horizons into researching the ‘evolution of limbs’.

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Dr Prem Jagyasi

Dr Prem is an award winning strategic leader, renowned author, publisher and highly acclaimed global speaker. Aside from publishing a bevy of life improvement guides, Dr Prem runs a network of 50 niche websites that attracts millions of readers across the globe. Thus far, Dr Prem has traveled to more than 40 countries, addressed numerous international conferences and offered his expert training and consultancy services to more than 150 international organizations. He also owns and leads a web services and technology business, supervised and managed by his eminent team. Dr Prem further takes great delight in travel photography.

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