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Animal Research
Video: A 'leg up' in evolution? Watch this fish walk on land
Video: A 'leg up' in evolution? Watch this fish walk on land

Sometimes a fish out of water really can do better on land! Scientists studying a strange fish called a bichir from riverbanks in Africa have found that when they raise these so-called dragon fish in a terrestrial environment, their bodies actually change in ways that make them more successful walkers. The findings, published online by the journal Nature, show that this sort of plasticity could have helped the ancient, long-gone fish species that crawled onto land adapt and eventually evolve into land-living creatures. The first land-dwelling vertebrate animals are thought to have evolved from lobe-finned fishes about 400 million years ago. These animals gave rise to the tetrapods...

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