(p. A4) It’s one of the most famous chapters in evolution, so familiar that it regularly inspires New Yorker cartoons: Some 375 million years ago, our ancestors emerged from the sea, evolving from swimming fish to vertebrates that walked on land.
Scientists still puzzle over exactly how the transition from sea to land took place. For the most part, they’ve had to rely on information gleaned from fossils of some of the intermediate species.
But now a team of researchers has found a remarkable parallel to one of evolution’s signature events. In a cave in Thailand, they’ve discovered that a blind fish walks the way land vertebrates do.
. . .
The researchers published their study on Thursday [March 24, 2016] in the journal Scientific Reports.
Dr. Flammang said that the waterfall-climbing cave fish eventually might give scientists hints about how fish originally arrived on land. “The physics are the same,” she said.
For the full story, see:
Carl Zimmer. “Researchers Find Fish That Walks the Way Land Vertebrates Do.” The New York Times (Fri., MARCH 25, 2016): A4.
(Note: ellipsis, and bracketed date, added.)
(Note: the online version of the story has the date MARCH 24, 2016.)
The academic article presenting the research summarized above, is:
Flammang, Brooke E., Apinun Suvarnaraksha, Julie Markiewicz, and Daphne Soares. “Tetrapod-Like Pelvic Girdle in a Walking Cavefish.” Scientific Reports 6 (March 24, 2016): 23711.