A fascinating new study which was recently published on the Canadian McGill website, a new study of an African “walking” fish may reveal vital clues of how our own human ancestors evolved.
The study, which was published by McGill University, Polypterus, which is a fish that can perform many fascinating and unique feats which are certainly not normally associated with fish.
Indeed, according to the recent study, Polypterus is an African fish that can breathe air, ‘walk’ on land, and even resembles many of the prehistoric animals which first demonstrated the ability to exist on dry land.
Hans Larsson, one of the authors of the recently published study, had this to say on the subject: “Because many of the anatomical changes mirror the fossil record, we can hypothesize that the behavioral changes we see also reflect what may have occurred when fossil fish first walked with their fins on land.”
The point of the study was to raise individual Polypterus specimens on dry land, to see if they could survive and adapt to these unfamiliar new conditions.
Amazingly, the study was a success, and the fish not only survived, but thrived. Trina Du, another of the several authors of the published study, had this to say on the matter: “Anatomically, their pectoral skeleton changed to become more elongate with stronger attachments across their chest, possibly to increase support during walking, and a reduced contact with the skull to potentially allow greater head/neck motion.”
This study is apparently one of the very first of its kind. The implications that it raises are sure to have a great impact on the course of evolutionary study throughout the world, especially with regard to the human species.
By understanding how life on dry land began, we begin to understand much more about our own origins and possible future.
Can A Walking Fish Reveal Secrets Of Human Evolution?