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Mar 18, 2020

Ancient fish fossil reveals evolutionary origin of the human hand

Posted by in categories: evolution, habitats

An ancient Elpistostege fish fossil found in Miguasha, Canada has revealed new insights into how the human hand evolved from fish fins.

An international team of palaeontologists from Flinders University in Australia and Universite du Quebec a Rimouski in Canada have revealed the specimen, as described in the journal Nature, has yielded the missing evolutionary link in the fish to tetrapod transition, as fish began to foray in habitats such as and land during the Late Devonian period millions of years ago.

This complete 1.57 metre long fish shows the complete arm (pectoral fin) skeleton for the first time in any elpistostegalian fish. Using high energy CT-scans, the skeleton of the pectoral fin revealed the presence of a humerus (arm), radius and ulna (forearm), rows of carpus (wrist) and phalanges organized in digits (fingers).

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