A “Transitional” Species

Despite the date, I suspect that this is on the level. They’ve apparently discovered a link between fish and amphibians.

The fossil, a 365-million-year-old arm bone, or humerus, shares features with primitive fish fins but also has characteristics of a true limb bone. Discovered near a highway roadside in north-central Penn., the bone is the earliest of its kind from any limbed animal.

“It has long been understood that the first four-legged creatures on land arose from the lobed-finned fishes in the Devonian Period,” said Rich Lane, director of the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) geology and paleontology program. “Through this work, we’ve learned that fish developed the ability to prop their bodies through modification of their fins, leading to the emergence of tetrapod limbs.”

I have the word “transitional” in quotes in the post title because it’s a meaningless, superfluous adjective. All species are transitional species, in the sense that they evolved from one and are likely (assuming they don’t go extinct) to evolve into yet others in the future. Or at least that was the case until we came along.