Walking fish reveal how our ancestors evolved onto land

#1
An interesting article showing a species adapting quickly to a new environment.

Polypterus senegalus. Credit: A. Morin, E.M. Standen, T.Y. Du, H. Larsson

About 400 million years ago a group of fish began exploring land and evolved into tetrapods – today's amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals. But just how these ancient fish used their fishy bodies and fins in a terrestrial environment and what evolutionary processes were at play remain scientific mysteries.


Researchers at McGill University published in the journal Nature, turned to a living fish, called Polypterus, to help show what might have happened when fish first attempted to walk out of the water. Polypterus is an African fish that can breathe air, 'walk' on land, and looks much like those ancient fishes that evolved into tetrapods. The team of researchers raised juvenile Polypterus on land for nearly a year, with an aim to revealing how these 'terrestrialized' fish looked and moved differently.

"Stressful environmental conditions can often reveal otherwise cryptic anatomical and behavioural variation, a form of developmental plasticity", says Emily Standen, a former McGill post-doctoral student who led the project, now at the University of Ottawa. "We wanted to use this mechanism to see what new anatomies and behaviours we could trigger in these fish and see if they match what we know of the fossil record."

Remarkable anatomical changes

The fish showed significant anatomical and behavioural changes.



Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2014-08-fish-reveal-ancestors-evolved.html#jCp

 
#2
Self intelligence and modification to suit an environment has created some very interested creatures! I have a plant in my backyard that has given itself poisonous bulbs, surrounded by tendrils with spiked tips, and an odor that acts as a repellent for predators. Pretty fascinating stuff, whichever mechanism of evolution one endorses, if any.
 
#3
Self intelligence and modification to suit an environment has created some very interested creatures! .
It's an interesting theory, it places an inherant teleological principle of coordinated functional adaption at the center of evolution.
Careful, you can get called names for those thoughts. :)

Seriously though there seem to be a growing number of biologists who think along those lines.
 
#4
It only seems an appropriate idea seeing as that is how I have come to be who I am today. Adaptation to my environment and what I assume to be self intelligence lol
 
#6
Just to note the transitional line from fish to tetrapod in standard thought was recently refuted by the discovery of tetrapod footprints 20 million years before Tiktaalik, the often cited link. Still is unfortunately, another oops moment, it will probably linger for years like some other icons.

Another shocker is the discovery of spined fish in the early cambrian!
 
#8
Shouldn't this be in the other stuff forum?
Discussion of research, news and beliefs that inform the divide between those who accept status quo science's view of consciousness and those who do not.
I understand that evolution could be guided by a conscious intelligence (or something). Probably an ok fit here.
 
#15
I understand that evolution could be guided by a conscious intelligence (or something). Probably an ok fit here.
There's no assumption that threads in this forum are about consciousness. That description is a holdover from when this was the Believers v. Skeptics sub-forum, and didn't get changed when the new direction for this sub-forum was changed. Plus, I think it's unlikely that someone will slap a "no discussion of facts" mod+ label on a thread in this forum, so it's easier to have an open discussion here without worrying about a bait and switch.

You did right, malf.

Linda
 
#16
Certainly not me. I thought we were talking about a "ham handed Z-test on an arcsine-sqrt transformation" which makes me want to shoot myself, and find out who's right.

Cheers,
Bill
1. The "z-test on an arcsine-SQRT transformation" was the test which wasn't ham-handed.
2. There is no disagreement on this point.

Linda
 
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