Tiktaalik Symbolism

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The recent discovery of Tiktaalik roseae in the Canadian Arctic by Neil Shubin, Edward Daeschler and Harvard’s Farish Jenkins is significant in the evolutionary transition of organisms from water to land. Tiktaalik is an extinct lobe-fin fish that evolved during the Devonian period, 375 million years ago. Tiktaalik’s unique features convey their developing adaptation to the amphibians’ habits in the shallow water. The evolutionary relationship within a group of animal can be established by comparing their physical features and ages. One way to study the relationship between fossils is using the phylogeny, which use the fossil record of the group of organism throughout time to construct a historical sequence. Cladograms can also be used as a way to determine the relations among organisms. Instead of examining when the animal occurred in the fossil record, Cladograms use the components of the animals. In order to organize the relationship among groups, Cladograms uses two types of characters: the primary and secondary characters. Primitive character is the feature of a group of organisms that is inherited from a common ancestor. In order words, an organism must share the same primitive character to be included in the group. Derived or secondary characters are features that are not shared with all organisms in a larger group because they evolve after the primitive character. From analyzing the fossil evidence, experts have discovered that early tetrapod amphibians evolved from lobe-fin fish. Amphibians are cold-blooded vertebrates animals that live under water and on land. Ichthyostega is considered the first amphibian and land vertebrate. Eusthenopteron is one group of fish that evolved during the Devonian and made a significant... ... middle of paper ... ...Devonian period influence these fish to use their exaptations to explore a new habitat. This is the Ecological Opportunity hypothesis, which suggest that these fish undergo an adaptive radiation onto the terrestrial environment. This occurs when an environmental change influence the organisms to develop more suitable features and use it under different conditions. In conclusion, Tiktaalik roseae is a lobe fin fish with traits that shows the gradual process of transitioning from life in water to land. Their structure and unique traits are the evidence that Tiktaalik were relatives of Ichthyostega. Even though they had fins and scale as a fish, Tiktaalik also resemble a tetrapod amphibian with a neck, flat head, skull, ribs, elevated eyes, and air sacs. Therefore, the discovery of Tiktaalik was an improvement that proves how life on land became possible for vertebra.

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