In an interesting contretemps, Douglas Main at Discover ‘s 80 Beats, reports on “Study: Fish Have Been Jumping on Land for 150 Million Years and Hiding it From the Fossil Record” (2011/10/11):
How did animals move from water to land? The answer may have just got a little murkier. A study published this month in the Journal of Experimental Zoology found that two distantly related fish share a similar method for jumping about on land, suggesting that a common ancestor evolved this ability long ago. But unlike amphibious fish such as the mudskipper, which has pectoral fins adapted to “walking” on land, these fish have no specialized equipment for leaping, and would therefore leave no evidence of their talent behind in the fossil record.
This led researchers to hypothesize that a common ancestor of the two fish evolved the capacity to jump on land, more than 150 million years ago. The researchers are currently filming the jumping behavior of every fish species they can get their hands on to conclusively determine whether jumping did in fact evolve once or whether it cropped up multiple times in different lineages.
The latter would seem far more likely, of course, because it’s not apparent that any special equipment is necessarily required for just plain jumping.
At any rate, Darwinists pounced on the comment
The finding complicates the study into the evolutionary transition of animals from water to land: the process didn’t necessarily include only transitional forms like the famous ‘fishapod’ Tiktaalik.
They forced Main to strike it.
Of course, the finding complicates the study of the evolutionary transition of animals from water to land, for a reason that Main refuses (so far) to back down from:
… this jumping ability, as noted, requires no noticeable anatomical peculiarity and thus hasn’t been left, or “recorded,” in the fossil record (as opposed to, for example, the mudskipper’s modified fins, which can be fossilized).
Yes, exactly. Stick to your point, Main, and quit expecting Darwinists to “get” the problems.
For the rest of us: The fact that many fish can hop around on land without requiring any special equipment complicates acquiring a set-in-stone record of the transition to land. We might never be able to find out who was doing it when.
And now here’s some fun with jumping zebrafish:
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