Evolution Trivia Quiz
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8. Between one thing and another
Some famous fossils are known as “transitional forms”, since they exhibit some features resembling those of a later evolutionary group while still retaining features like those of an ancestral group. One fossil of this kind, called Tiktaalik, was discovered in northern Canada in 2004. What transition does Tiktaalik represent?
Your answer — A) From dinosaur to bird — was incorrect.
Tiktaalik represents one phase in the emergence of vertebrate life from the sea onto land some 375 million years ago in the Late Devonian period. Although it has the scales and gills of its fish forebears, its limbs incorporate the stronger bones needed for locomotion on land, and included the beginnings of a wrist joint. Like some of the large amphibians that would come after, it had a flat head similar to that of a crocodile. Unlike any previous fish, Tiktaalik had a neck, which would have given it more mobility when hunting.
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