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Old 29-08-14, 23:36   #1
 
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Earth Scientists Teach Fish to Walk on Land

What Happens When Fish are Raised to Walk on Land

Aug 29th 2014

Evolutionary theory says all animals that are walking on land actually evolved from sea-dwelling creatures at some point in the ancient past.

To study this further, scientists from McGill University raised a group of 111 Senegal bichir fish, also known as dinosaur eels, in just over a tenth of an inch of water.

The researchers kept the fish in a slightly wet terrestrial environment for eight months.

Also part of the study were 38 of the same kind of fish that were raised in their usual aquatic habitat.

Results of study tests show that the fish raised on land could actually walk better than the ones raised in water, and their bodies adjusted slightly to the different environment, causing them to have more flexible necks.

Emily Standen, lead author study, who now works at the University of Ottawa is quoted as saying: "It seems quite clear that environmentally induced changes may have facilitated their transition to land. Selective pressures then acted on these changes, and they became fixed in the genome over very long periods of time."

Bichir fish have both lungs and gills along with strong fins, which allegedly allows them to move from temporary pond to pond when one of them dries up.
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