Tiktaalik

Tiktaalik

A transitional form between fish and tetrapods, or four-limbed vertebrates.

Biology

Keywords

Tiktaalik, fossil, extinct, prehistoric creature, Devonian period, evolution, aquatic lifestyle, terrestrial life, four-limbed, walking, animal, fish, vertebrates, biology

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Scenes

In the water

Tiktaalik

Above the water

On dry land

Anatomy

  • forelimbs used by the animal to prop itself
  • skin covered with scales and mucus
  • flattened skull, the head is movable on the neck
  • eyes on the top of the head

Animation

  • forelimbs used by the animal to prop itself
  • skin covered with scales and mucus
  • flattened skull, the head is movable on the neck
  • eyes on the top of the head

Narration

The fossil of the Tiktaalik was discovered in northern Canada in 2004 by a group of archaeologists led by Neil Shubin and Ted Daeschler. It was an extremely important ´missing link´, as it is a transitional form between fish and tetrapods, or four-limbed vertebrates.

Like fish, the Tiktaalik did not have digits, but the fins were suitable for propping itself up and thus for leaving the water for a short period in marshy areas.

It had both gills and lungs, its head was flat like amphibians´ heads, and it moved relatively freely at the neck. The Tiktaalik lived about 375 million years ago in the Devonian period. The Acanthostega and Ichthyostega species, which already had digits, might have evolved from its descendants.

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