Tiktaalik fossil reveals key step in evolution of walking

The research team, including a Penn State biologist, reconstructed the skeleton of Tiktaalik, a 375-million-year-old fossil fish, shedding light on the evolution of walking. The reconstruction revealed that the fish’s ribs likely attached to its pelvis, a crucial innovation for body support and walking evolution. Unlike most fish, limbed vertebrates show distinct differences in vertebral and rib regions, enabling specialized functions like body support. Tiktaalik’s pelvis and hind fins were larger and more connected to the axial skeleton, indicating the beginnings of walking evolution. The study provides insights into Tiktaalik’s movement and environment 375 million years ago, funded by various organizations.

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