Monday, February 9, 2009

The List: 10 Amazing Transitional Fossils


Transitional fossils are the bane of Evolution deniers existence. Traditionally they just ignore them, usually by plugging there ears and loudly singing the Flintstones theme song.

Let's kick of Darwin Day's eve eve eve with a myriad of our favorite gap fillers.

10. Ambulocetus

It's name means walking whale, and that is a pretty good description of what it actually was. Ambulocetus (Eocene Epoch 50 Million Years ago) was able to hunt on land and shared many adaptations with whales.

9. Homo ergaster

Homo ergaster was a human ancestor who lived around 2 million years ago. The nearly complete Turkana boy is a possible example of this tool using early human.

8. Thrinaxodon

Thrinaxodon was a fur covered mammal like reptile dating approximately 250 years ago. Likely warm blooded, but laid eggs to birth it's young Thrinaxodon was an early move to mammalian forms.

7. Basilosaurus

Another whale ancestor Basilosaurus possessed tiny hind limbs that speak of it's origins on dry land.

6. Hyracotherium

The forerunner to both Horses and Rhinos, Hyracotherium was a small fox sized forager.

5. Australopithecus afarensis

While the jury is still out as to whether Australopithecus is a direct human ancestor or not, the discovery of "Lucy" has shown a definite step to bipedal motion.

4. Tiktaalik

Tiktaalik is a fishapod. A fish who possessed lungs as well as gills and wrist jointed fins. Literally a fish out of water taking it's first journey on land.

3. Dimetrodon

Frequently misrepresented as a dinosaur, Dimetrodon was a progenitor to mammalia. Dimetrodon is more your relative than of modern reptiles.

2. Archaeopteryx

Archaeopteryx, much like Tktaalik, is direct irrefutable evidence that transitional forms existed. While it may not be a direct ancestor to modern birds, although I think the evidence strongly points in that direction, it still proves transitional forms.

1. Homo erectus

The discovery of "Java Man" allowed us to look into our own origins and rethink the so called primitve lives of our ancestors. The sophistication of the tools discovered with Homo erectus fossils further indicate our species skill at adaptation.

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