transitional fosill

Tiktaalik is a monospecific genus of extinct sarcopterygian (lobe-finned fish) from the late Devonian period, with many features akin to those of tetrapods (four-legged animals). The Tiktaalik is understood as representative of the evolutionary transition from fish to amphibians. It is an example from several lines of ancient sarcopterygian fish developing adaptations to the oxygen-poor shallow-water habitats of its time, which led to the evolution of tetrapods.



  • This is a fossil that blurs the distinction between fish and land-living animal because when you look at it, it has bits and pieces of its anatomy that are like a fish and whole bits and pieces of its anatomy that are like a land-living animal
  • Tiktaalik blurs the boundary between fish and land animals. This animal is both fish and tetrapod; we lovingly call it a 'fishapod.'
  • When we took the fin of Tiktaalik apart, we found something truly remarkable: all the joint surfaces were extremely well preserved. Tiktaalik has a shoulder, elbow and wrist composed of the same bones as an upper arm, forearm and wrist in a human.

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