*Tiktaalik roseae* fills in the evolutionary gap between fish and land animals.
On this date, two articles were published in the science journal Nature reporting the discovery of a fossil that might in time become as much of an evolutionary icon as the proto-bird Archaeopteryx. Several specimens of this transitional form, named Tiktaalik roseae, were found in late Devonian river sediments on Ellesmere Island in Nunavut, Arctic Canada.
- Ahlberg, P.E., Clack, J.A. (2006). Palaeontology: A firm step from water to land. Nature, 440(7085), 747-749. DOI: 10.1038/440747a
- Daeschler, E.B., Shubin, N.H., Jenkins, F.A. (2006). A Devonian tetrapod-like fish and the evolution of the tetrapod body plan. Nature, 440(7085), 757-763. DOI: 10.1038/nature04639
- Shubin, N.H., Daeschler, E.B., Jenkins, F.A. (2006). The pectoral fin of Tiktaalik roseae and the origin of the tetrapod limb. Nature, 440(7085), 764-771. DOI: 10.1038/nature04637
- “What has the head of a crocodile and the gills of a fish?“, the Understanding Evolution website, the University of California Museum of Paleontology and the National Center for Science Education. Last updated June 2010, accessed on 26 April 2011. http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evolibrary/news/060501_tiktaalik
On this date, the American molecular biologist James D. Watson
was born in Chicago. Best known as one of the co-discoverers of the structure of DNA, Watson along with Francis Crick and Maurice Wilkins were awarded the 1962 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine
“for their discoveries concerning the molecular structure of nucleic acids and its significance for information transfer in living material”.
During his undergraduate years at the University of Chicago, Watson’s boyhood interest in bird-watching matured into a serious desire to learn genetics. This became possible when he received a Fellowship for graduate study in Zoology at Indiana University in Bloomington, where he received his Ph.D. degree in Zoology in 1950. He began working at the Cavendish Laboratory in England in early October 1951. Watson soon met Crick and discovered their common interest in solving the structure of DNA. They thought it should be possible to correctly guess its structure, given both the experimental evidence at King’s College plus careful examination of the possible stereochemical configurations of polynucleotide chains.
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