Finding Tiktaalik Neil Shubin on the Evolutionary Step from Sea to Land05:50

Finding Tiktaalik Neil Shubin on the Evolutionary Step from Sea to Land


A reconstruction of Tiktaalik alongside a cast of its fossil, and a map showing where the fossil was found, on Ellesmere Island, Nunavut, Canada.

Tiktaalik (Tiktaalik roseae) was discovered in 2006 by a team of scientists; Edward B. Daeschler; Neil H. Shubin; and Farish A. Jenkins, Jr. Titaalik has both fish and amphibian traits and is better known as, fishapod (University of Chicago, 2009).

Transitional LinkEdit

The discovery of Tiktaalik is an important link in the chain of human evolution. This was the pivatal point where sea creatures were transitioning to be able to survive on land. Tiktaalik is the cross between primitive fish and 4-legged creatures (tetrapods). Tiktaalik existed roughly 12 million years prior to the fist tetrapods, and is the earliest apperance of tetrapod traits in the fossil record (Understanding Evolution, 2006).

Tiktaalik was a fish with scales and gills, had the head of a crocodile, and fins with a strong internal structure that would support a propped-up position (Understanding Evolution, 2006). 

Tiktaalik phylogeny

Evolutionary Chain;

Tiktaalik Facts

Age: 375 Million years old


Ellesmere Is., Nunavut, Canada
# of Individuals Recovered: over 10
Size Range: 3 - 9 ft long
Nickname: 'Fishapod'


University of Chicago. (2009). Tiktaalik roseae. Retrieved from

Understanding Evolution. (2006, June). What has the head of a crocodile and the gills of a fish?. Retrieved from

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