Dubai, United Arab Emirates (CNN) – Researchers have discovered fossils of the fins of the fish, which are like the hand, as this discovery filled the space between the stages of life development in the water and on the ground.
About 374 million years ago, life on Earth began to shift from underwater to appear on land, leading to the emergence of quadrupeds or vertebrates with four sides, which include dinosaurs, wild animals, and humans finally.
Scientists consider this transformation one of the most important events in the history of life on Earth.
But there is little fossil record on evolution from marine to wild. Therefore, the researchers focused their efforts on quadruped fish, known as elpistostegalians, who lived between 359 and 393 million years ago during the middle and late periods of the Devonian period.
A CT scan of the structure of a fish, 5 feet in length, in the Canadian province of Quebec, revealed the presence of two parts resembling the fingers, in addition to the presence of three others likely to resemble the fingers.
The researchers also found an arm, elbow, forearm, and wrist attached to finger-like parts.
John Long, a study author and strategic professor of paleontology at the University of Flinders in Australia, said: “Today, we announce, in Nature, that we have discovered a complete sample of tetrapole-like fish, known as Elpistostege, that reveals unusual new information about The development of the vertebral hand. “
“This is the first time that we have definitely found out about the presence of fingers inside the fins,” he said, adding that these parts resemble the bones of the fingers in the hands of most animals.
“The study also revealed the humerus structure, which also shows traits that are shared with early amphibians,” said Richard Cloutier, a co-author of the study and professor at the University of Quebec in Rimouski.
He added: “The species Elpistostege is not necessarily the beginning of our ancestors, but it is closest to being a transitional fossil, and is a mediator between fish and tetrapods.”
Earlier, researchers studied these tetrapod-like fish, in order to understand how creatures adapt to breathing, hearing, and eating on Earth when they emerge from the water.