By MALCOLM RITTER, AP Science Writer
NEW YORK - Scientists have caught a fossil fish in the act of adapting toward a life on land, a discovery that sheds new light one of the greatest transformations in the history of animals.
Scientists have long known that fish evolved into the first creatures on land with four legs and backbones more than 365 million years ago, but they've had precious little fossil evidence to document how it happened.
The new find of several specimens looks more like a land-dweller than the few other fossil fish known from the transitional period, and researchers speculate that it may have taken brief excursions out of the water.
"It sort of blurs the distinction between fish and land-living animals," said one of its discoverers, paleontologist Neil Shubin of the University of Chicago.
Experts said the discovery, with its unusually well-preserved and complete skeletons, reveals significant new information about how the water-to-land evolution took place.Read whole article