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Silver

Yet another transitional fossil found

A fossil has been unearthed in Canada's Arctic that reveals how seals developed from land-based mammals, scientists said.

The web-footed carnivore measured 43 inches from nose to tail and lived near fresh water lakes between 20 and 24million years ago.

A primitive animal, it had a body similar to that of an otter, with a skull more closely related to a seal.



http://www.dailymail.co.uk/scienc...-reveals-seals-went-land-sea.html


Missing link: Arctic fossil reveals how seals went from land to sea.
Judders Lady...

Re: Yet another transitional fossil found

Silver wrote:
A fossil has been unearthed in Canada's Arctic that reveals how seals developed from land-based mammals, scientists said.

The web-footed carnivore measured 43 inches from nose to tail and lived near fresh water lakes between 20 and 24million years ago.

A primitive animal, it had a body similar to that of an otter, with a skull more closely related to a seal.



http://www.dailymail.co.uk/scienc...-reveals-seals-went-land-sea.html


Missing link: Arctic fossil reveals how seals went from land to sea.  

Quote:




The science team has dubbed it 'a walking seal', although it is not the direct ancestor of any modern seal.


Do you see the obvious? Which seals would that be- if not the direct ancestor of modern seals?
Lexilogio

This doesn't seem that different to a modern otter or vole.

While I appreciate that this find may be fascinating for some - I don't think this really adds anything to what is already known.

It would be interesting though to look at what the missing links currently are - if anyone knows. I know there is a missing link between dinosaurs and birds (depending on the veracity of some "finds" from China - I don't know if they have been authenticated).
Leonard James

I think it must be remembered that speciation only occurs when a small group of any given species becoms isolated in some way, either physically or behaviourally from the main population, and gene flow is interrupted. The group then evolves separately and finally is unable or unlikely to breed with the original population, and a new species has evolved which multiplies and spreads.

Fossilisation is a very rare process, and the number of examples of any given species which are fossilised is minute compared with the total population that ever lived. So the small group that is evolving into a new species are going to leave very few fossilised examples...if any. Once they are established as a new species, their numbers increase and the likelihood of fossilisation is increased enormously simply because of their numbers.

Add to this the fact that the portion of the earth that has been searched for fossils is again minute compared with the total area, and you can see the difficulty facing palaeontology.

That is why a continuous evolutionary fossil record is not only unlikely to be found, but near on impossible.
Silver

Lexilogio. About five years ago there was an excellent (Horizon?) programme on BBC 2 about bird/dinosaur fossils. A local in China had sold a fossil to an expert but to make more money from a larger fossil, had convincingly glued 2 fossils together. As luck would have it, one fossil was a dinosaur that was part bird and another was a bird fossil that was part dinosaur. Since then quite a number of feathered dinosaur fossils have turned up. It is now accepted as proved that birds came from dinosaurs.

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