Professor Neil Shubin talks about the discovery of Tiktaalik and one of the greatest evolutionary events in Earth's history: when the very first fish ventured out onto land.
Widely known as the "fishapod", Tiktaalik roseae is a 375 million year old fossil fish discovered by a team of six palaeontologists in the Canadian Arctic in 2004.
Tiktaalik looks like a cross between the primitive fish it lived amongst and the first four-legged animals, a group called "tetrapods". Derived from "tetra-", meaning four, and "-pod", meaning foot, all animals that descended from these pioneer amphibians, including us, can be called tetrapods.
Tiktaalik lived about 12 million years before the first tetrapods (which are approximately 363 million years old). With the earliest appearance in the fossil record of tetrapod features in a fish, the discovery has become a key piece of evidence in the transition from life in water to life on land.
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Tiktaalik (Tiktaalik roseae) was discovered in 2006 by a team of scientists; Edward B...