A Big Step for a Fish – The Evolution of Four-Legged Land Animals

Speaker Series 2015: A Big Step for a Fish – The Evolution of Four-Legged Land Animals

The last part of the Devonian Period and the early part of Carboniferous Period – 380 to 330 million years ago – were important times in the evolution of backboned animals. The Devonian has sometimes been called “The Age of Fishes” as there were more types of fishes alive than at any other time in Earth’s history. The last part of the Devonian is when some fishes with “legs” started to move from shallow water onto land. These fishes were the distant ancestors of what would become amphibians, reptiles, and mammals in the hundreds of millions of years that would follow.

This Speaker Series session by the Museum’s own Curator of Dinosaurs, Dr. Donald Henderson, reviews the fossil record and our understanding of the early colonization of the land by back-boned animals.

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