Fish Fingers: The Digital Evolution

September 23, 2008 By: Marshall Cutchin

No, not the kind served on top of a basket of fries, but the kind you use to compose email. After re-examining the evidence, scientists have discovered that fingers didn’t first develop on four-legged animals, as previously thought, but in fish fins. “The researchers did a CT scan on a specimen about 380 million years old. And they found that the fish’s right fin, which was unusually well-preserved, does appear to have digitlike bones. The reason other researchers previously missed them, they think, is because in their samples the fingers were hidden behind marks left by the fish’s scales.” From a Scientific American podcast. (Thanks to reader Mark Swenson for this link.)