Friday, April 07, 2006


It's a beautiful April morning and I look outside my window beside the computer I type upon, and, lo and behold, the lawn needs mowing. Seems only yesterday there was snow out there. PS: I cheated the caption of this entry. I really don't have an electric mower.


And they've had all of history to learn the lesson that when science and religion clash, religion is always proven wrong.

SPEAKING OF FISH: Fossil Called Missing Link From Sea to Land Animals

[OPEN QUOTE] Scientists have discovered fossils of a 375-million-year-old fish, a large scaly creature not seen before, that they say is a long-sought missing link in the evolution of some fishes from water to a life walking on four limbs on land. . . .

The skeletons have the fins, scales and other attributes of a giant fish, four to nine feet long. But on closer examination, the scientists found telling anatomical traits of a transitional creature, a fish that is still a fish but has changes that anticipate the emergence of land animals — and is thus a predecessor of amphibians, reptiles and dinosaurs, mammals and eventually humans.

In the fishes' forward fins, the scientists found evidence of limbs in the making. There are the beginnings of digits, proto-wrists, elbows and shoulders. The fish also had a flat skull resembling a crocodile's, a neck, ribs and other parts that were similar to four-legged land animals known as tetrapods. . . .

It was not until July 2004, Dr. Shubin said, that "we hit the jackpot." They found several of the fishes in a quarry, their skeletons largely intact and in three dimensions. The large skull had the sharp teeth of a predator. It was attached to a neck, which allowed the fish the unfishlike ability to swivel its head.

If the animal spent any time out of water, said Dr. Jenkins, of Harvard, it needed a true neck that allowed the head to move independently on the body. [CLOSE QUOTE]

Published in New York Times: April 6, 2006

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