Study of amphibious walking fish may show how creatures have evolved on land
Science marches on. Sometimes, it does so on fins.
Research conducted at McGill University studied the effect of a lifetime of walking on a certain type of fish. Yes, fish.
The results, say their paper in the journal Nature, suggest much about the evolution of complex pieces of anatomy such as arms and legs.
“What we wanted to pin down was: if you change the environment of this fish, does it change its behaviour or does its anatomy change?” said Emily Standen, now at the University of Ottawa.
Her team started with a fish called Polypterus. They have both lungs and gills and can live in water or on land. They also have lobe-like fins, positioned so they can pull themselves awkwardly forward as if with stunted arms.
“Some people might say they’re not as pretty as trout, but I think they’re amazing,” Standen said.
She and her colleagues took two groups of Polypterus, raising one in water and one on land. They found that by the end of the experiment, the land-raised group had indeed become more efficient walkers than their aquatic counterparts.
But more interestingly, the landlubbers’ bodies had also changed. Bones in their fins had grown beefier. And just a subtle hint of what might be glancingly referred to as a neck had also emerged.
Even more interestingly, the changes seen in the walking group looked a lot like the changes seen in the fossil record as fish slowly evolved for terrestrial life.
“All of these changes mirror what we see in the fossil record,” said Standen. “You see these changes in the bones suddenly over evolutionary time, mirrored by what’s going on in this one individual.”
Environmental changes had produced physical changes — a key finding regarding what scientists call plasticity, the “wiggle room” allowed for in every organism’s DNA.
“What it’s telling us is the plasticity, or the variation that’s hidden within all of us, relates to the evolutionary process because what it allows animals to do is exist in novel environments,” Standen said.
“When you change an environment and (an organism) responds in this plastic way, adaptive selection and evolution has something upon which to act.”
The whole issue of plasticity is a hot one for evolutionary biologists, Standen said. The amount of its influence over evolution or how traits that appear in individuals become “fixed” into an entire species is still mysterious.
But it could help explain why evolution can come up with solutions so quickly.
“If you’ve got this variation within you, you don’t have to wait for random advantageous mutation to occur to allow you to do something new,” Standen said.
“You can use your plasticity to do that new thing, evolution can then act on that existing building block and that combination allows you to explain how really complex changes can occur in a really short time.”
Standen said she hopes to be able to keep using Polypterus to answer those questions.
“It is a dream to be able to breed these, to be able to take it to the next step and do generation after generation and see how far does this go and how fast does this go. Can you get this to fix, somehow?
“It is fascinating.”
Remember that watermelon crushing thigh cartoon recently? Well after just watching an episode of Stan Lee’s Superhuman’s that shit is real.
Now, to give you an example the force required to crush the average watermelon is around 320 pounds as seen below:
But with using only the power of her god like thighs this is the result:
And this is why Thick thighs are fucking glorious.
thick thighs crush skulls
Badass women of the future:
- Malavath Poorna, the youngest person ever to reach Mount Everest’s summit at the age of 13 years, 11 months
Ann Makosinksi, Canadian inventor of a flashlight powered strictly by body heat at age 16
Mo’Ne Davis, first girl to throw a Little League World Series shutout in history, with fastballs reaching speeds of up to 70mph, at age 13
Alia Sabur, youngest university professor in the world, appointed to Konkuk University in South Korea at age 18
Asia Newson, owning and operating a candle sales business alongside her father, is Detroit’s youngest entrepreneur at age 10
HOW IS THIS NOT EVERYWHERE?
Reblogging this good news…again.
y’all know EXACTLY why this isn’t everywhere. don’t pretend to be oblivious
Well let’s spread the word then guys. This kid deserves all the attention.
this is important
I’ve said this before, but for god’s sake people, not top 1%, top 0.003% if he’s got an IQ of 162.
Saying he’s in the top 1% is technically true, but also vastly downplaying just how smart this kid is.
Send that kid to Harvard for fuck’s sake!
Plantagenet (14th century): Horizontal Braiding, Gorget.
Gorget - When a wimple is worn without a veil, pinned over hair coils on the side of the head (Fig. 19). Sometimes the coils were braided horizontally (Fig.18). Horizontal Braiding- popular in the mid 14th century, the head would go uncovered, but sometimes a fillet would support the plaits ( Fig. 22).
Before I get into it, just know the pictures just serve as visual representations, not actual pictures
Okay so anyway, evidence for this theory is the following:
THE FACT THAT HUMANS ARE SO HAIRLESS:
Only two kind of habitats give rise to hairless animals, an aquatic one and a one below the ground (a naked mole rat for example)
.The suggestion that humans have become hairless to prevent overheating has been rendered false because hair can act like a defense against the sun.
This is why camels retain their fur even in the hot dessert environment.
OUR FAT CELLS
We have ten times the number of fat cells as expected in an animal our size. Only two types of animals have large fat cells: hibernating and aquatic ones.
In hibernating it’s seasonal fat, but in aquatic it’s all year round. It’s unreasonable to think that we evolved this feature in land because large fat pockets would have just slowed us down.
Primate babies are always born slender, but human babies start to develop fat even before birth.
WALKING ON TWO LEGS
So we’re the only mammals that have developed bipedalism. This is a surprise, because walking on 2 legs vs. walking on 4 legs is very disadvantageous. It’s slower, unstable, our organs are vulnerable to damage.
One theory is that if our habitat was flooded, we’d have to walk on two legs to keep our heads above the water.
The only animal who has ever evolved a pelvis like ours, the swamp ape, used this method.
We have conscious control over our breathing. Ever other land animal doesn’t. Mammals like dolphins and seals also conscious control because it tells them how deep they are going to dive and they can estimate how much air they need to inhale.
Our body is so wasteful of salt and water. Think of tears and our way of sweating. Other land mammals don’t have this. Water mammals do however.
Okay anyway I hope you learned something.
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Inspired by this.
Anna took the habit of staying at Elsa’s door all evenings, talking to her or even trying to read her stories like Elsa used to do to her. The first night, she woke up on her bed and never understood why, so she kept doing it but was always woken up by a staff member in the middle of the hallway. So she stopped doing it. Until the day their parents died..
Please don’t remove the artist’s caption/comment when you reblog a drawing/comic/etc.
I obviously can’t speak for everyone, but in my case the caption is often an addition to the joke, and if you take it away, you take away a part of my comic.
Seriously, guys? Seriously? Why would you do that?
point proven omg