Lungfish provide insight into terrestrial evolution

The larvae of one of the Australia's lungfish species. Photo credit: Nicholas J Cole

Australia’s living fossil has given scientists an insight into the development of our hind legs.

Ancient lungfish are the ancestors of the tetrapods, the four-legged creatures that took the first steps on land 400 million years ago. These fish could breathe air and propel themselves along the ground with their fins, allowing them to survive on land.

Australia is home to two marine species of lungfish and a third that inhabits Queensland’s Mary River Basin. A team of scientists led by Professor Peter Currie, from the

2 total comments on this postSubmit yours
  1. Wow that’s awesome, how come we aren’t seeing land sharks sliding out of the ocean in the last couple of thousand years?

  2. Unless the text books are terribly wrong there are no living marine lungfish in Australian waters. The one and only freshwater lungfish is Neoceratodus forsteri, originally found only in a limited number of east flowing rivers in Queensland but subsequently introduced into other east flowing rivers, such as the Brisbane River.

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