Speaker Series 2017: Mass Extinctions, Ray-Finned Fishes, and the Closing of Romer’s Gap

The actinopterygians, or ray-finned fishes, are a substantial and significant component of modern vertebrate (animals with backbones) diversity. Ray-finned fishes are bony and have paired fins that are supported by rays (the actinosts) that insert directly in the body. Examples of modern ray-finned fishes include trout, eels, and bettas. Despite their prevalence today, the early … Continue reading Speaker Series 2017: Mass Extinctions, Ray-Finned Fishes, and the Closing of Romer’s Gap

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Speaker Series 2015: The Marble Canyon Burgess Shale Locality and the Early Evolution of Fishes

Located in the mountain parks of British Columbia, the Burgess Shale provides some of the best information about the early evolution of complex life 540 to 485 million years ago. The basic body plans of most animals alive today, including vertebrates like ourselves can be traced back to this period. Highlighting new discoveries, Dr. Jean-Bernard … Continue reading Speaker Series 2015: The Marble Canyon Burgess Shale Locality and the Early Evolution of Fishes

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