December 17, 2012

Turning Fish Fins into Hands

Carl Zimmer, Discover Blogs


AP Photo

Your hands are, roughly speaking, 360 million years old. Before then, they were fins, which your fishy ancestors used to swim through oceans and rivers. Once those fins sprouted digits, they could propel your salamander-like ancestors across dry land. Fast forward 300 million years, and your hands had become fine-tuned for manipulations: your lemur-like ancestors used them to grab leaves and open up fruits.

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TAGGED: Fish, Evolution, Hands

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