Handy list of transition fossils: seven missing links for handy reference

March 14, 2009 | By | 6 Replies More

Image created by Nat'l Science Foundation - public domain

I’ve often wished that I had a short list of impressive transition fossils handy for the next time a creationist claimed to me that there were no such transition fossils. Well, here’s the list I’ve been looking for, published by the National Geographic.  The first fossil on National Geographic’s list is the especially compelling find, Tiktaalik, the “fishopod.”


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Category: Evolution, nature, Religion

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

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  1. Karl says:

    Here's a transitional form, a 100 million year old modern foot print. Fits right in between those older primates and the homo erectus, a perfect fit.



  2. For pity's sake, Karl, it says one and a half million years old. Can't you read?

  3. Karl says:

    Sorry. Didn't mean to misquote.

    So a perfect human footprint 1.5 million years old is perfectly fine.

    10,000 years, 100 million, 1,5 million, 4.5 billion, 14 billion, I guess I can't see the forest for the trees.

    • Dan Klarmann says:

      Karl, apparently you cannot see the forest because you don't distinguish between the trees. Oak, Juniper, Ginkgo, Palm; all the same to you. Hint: look up the paleo-ages of those 4 genera.

      It's been known for about 80 years that upright hominids (probably including, yet not limited to, our ancestors) have been around for a million years or so. This footprint trail appears to set the start date for fully upright strolling 50% farther back than the cruder estimate from early last century. Lucy and her Olduvai ilk were semi-upright 3x farther back.

      I'm looking forward to seeing whether and how this new evidence gets corroborated.

  4. Karl wrote:—"So a perfect human footprint 1.5 million years old is perfectly fine."

    Your sarcasm defines you. I assume you think that the "perfect footprint" means that the rest of the critter that made it is also "perfect" in the sens eo fbeing a fully evolved homo sapiens sapiens? You understand less about evolution than I previously thought. The whole organism does not, need not, usually will not evolve at the same time. That footprint has been determined to belong to Homo Erectus, which walked upright but was otherwise only somewhat modern. What? The foot can't evolve separately from everything else? What do you think was the lesson of Darwin's finches?

    "10,000 years, 100 million, 1,5 million, 4.5 billion, 14 billion, I guess I can’t see the forest for the trees."

    So like the ancient Greeks, anything over 10,000 is more or less the same Big Number? Oh, that's right, anything older than—what was it for you? twenty thousand years?—is just a figment of our demented imagination. Modern humans came on the scene somewhere around 200,000 years ago. More than a million years after those footprints were made. We have sharks in the oceans that are indistinguishable from their ancestors of tens of millions of years ago. Successful forms can be amazingly persistent over long periods.

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