According to Victoria Gill (“Leaping fish give evolution clue,” BBC Nature , 6 October 2011), researchers recently announced that at least six types of fish can launch themselves into the air from a solid surface, and concluded that “this was an evolutionary snapshot of the transition from living in water to inhabiting land” and that “many more of their ancient aquatic relatives might have invaded the land than had previously been thought.”
The difficulty is that jumping out of the water is not a big deal. The chief obstacle to living on land is acquiring oxygen from the air, which has usually been done by developing lungs. A researcher who wishes to help us understand how water-based life forms became land-based life forms must solve that problem, not mere trifles like the ability to leap into the air (and fall back down).
Astounding performance, but doesn’t amount to life in the air or on land. They still need water to breathe.
See also Tales of a fish who hates water (but that’s not all it takes).
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