Neil H. Shubin, University of Chicago
Discovering a Link Between Fish and Limbed Animals: The Story of Tiktaalik roseae
Physics Division Colloquium - 30 Mar 2007

We have recently discovered and described a new species, Tiktaalik roseae, widely recognized as the definitive evolutionary transition between lobe-finned fishes and the earliest limbed vertebrates. I will describe why we chose to explore the remote and inhospitable terrain of Ellesmere Island in the Canadian Arctic, and how they carry out their paleontological fieldwork. I will also describe and illustrate the features of Tiktaalik that place it at the cusp of the transition from fish to tetrapods. This iconic fossil has become an important illustration of the nature of the evolutionary process and stimulated substantial public interest in the history of life on earth.

ANL Physics Division Colloquium Schedule