When Fish "Caught Their Breath"

January 7, 2010 By: Marshall Cutchin

Last night my ever-inquisitive nine-year-old asked a sensible question while munching peanut-buttered celery before bed. “When was celery invented, Dad?” They’ve already covered evolution pretty well in school, but for just about no one does the notion that it (including us) all started with blue-green algae make sense. Our brains weren’t built for such timelines. “Celery was never invented” doesn’t begin to cover it. (It’s exponentially more complicated than the suggestion that fishing flies are never “invented.”)
Researchers now think that fish began “walking on four legs” millions of years earlier than previously estimated — and not because they were trying to “catch their breath.” “Until now, scientists thought they had the evolution from fin to foot fairly well understood. The earliest tetrapods had been traced to 385 million years ago. Experts theorized that they had split from their close relatives, a fleshy-finned family of fish, a few million years earlier and then gone on to conquer land.” Article by The Associated Press.

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