Tiktaalik prehistoric fish, illustration

Tiktaalik prehistoric fish, illustration

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Credit: CLAUS LUNAU/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

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

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Keywords: animal, artwork, biological, biology, devonian, early legs, evolution, evolutionary, extinct, fauna, fish, fish-tetrapod transition, fossil record, historical, history, ichthyology, illustration, late devonian, nature, no-one, nobody, palaeontology, paleontology, prehistoric, prehistory, surface, swimming, tiktaalik, tiktaalik roseae, transitional stage, walking fish, water, water-land transition, zoological, zoology

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