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This fossil fish bridges the evolutionary gap between animals of land and sea.
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Courtesy of Zina Deretsky, National Science Foundation

Details of Evolutionary Transition from Fish to Land Animals Revealed
News story originally written on October 15, 2008

Scientists have been studying the head of a very interesting fossil animal.

The animal was large and had a flattened head and body. It lived in shallow water 375-million-years-ago.

It was a bit like the first four-footed animals that lived on land. And it was also a bit like fish that live in the water. It had scales and fins. The scientists think that the animal lived on the bottom in shallow water. It may have been able to get out of the water sometimes too.

It took more than a year for scientists to get the fossil head skeleton out of the surrounding sedimentary rock. Once they did, they found that the head had a flat skull and a long snout, much like some land animals. The scientists suspect that these features helped the animal survive in shallow water.

Last modified January 16, 2009 by Lisa Gardiner.

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