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Meet Tiktaalik roseae: An Extraordinary Fossil Fish

Why is Tiktaalik called the "fishapod"?

Tiktaalik shares anatomical features with both primitive fish and the first tetrapods. At first glance, it has features we readily associate with fish: fins, scales, and gills. But it also has a number of key features that differentiate it from its fishy contemporaries and make it very interesting to scientists.

Tiktaalik has a flat head and a neck like tetrapods but fins and scales like fish

Tiktaalik's head and body are flat with eyes on the top of its skull, more like a crocodile than most fish. Its shoulders are not connected to its skull, giving it a functional neck, a feature which fish lack. And it has ribs like some of the earliest tetrapods which were used to support the body and aid in living and breathing on land. These features in Tiktaalik show that many of the body features we associate with the earliest tetrapods actually evolved in fish first.

Could Tiktaalik walk on land?