Tiktaalik prehistoric fish, artwork

Tiktaalik prehistoric fish, artwork

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Credit: NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Tiktaalik roseae, artwork. This extinct lobe-finned fish lived during the Late Devonian period (375 million years ago). It had fishlike fins with thin ray bones and scales. However, it also had a flattened skull similar to a crocodile along with a mobile neck and sturdy shoulders, lungs and ribs, which are seen in tetrapods (four-legged vertebrates). In 2004, a Tiktaalik roseae fossil was found in the Canadian Arctic. When scientists later analysed its skull, in 2008, it was found to demonstrate a key transitional stage between fish and tetrapods. Tiktaalik roseae is thought to have lived in shallow water, using its fins to prop itself up.

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