(ORDO NEWS) — Western explorers have been lucky to find fossils of a fish that existed on Earth hundreds of millions of years ago. Once life carried it out of the water, but the fish was forced to return back. What affected such a conscious choice?
Paleontology is not only about excavations, but also about what life used to be
Paleontologists from the University of Chicago, USA, stumbled upon fossils of prehistoric fish in Canada. It is believed that its species was one of the first among vertebrates that began to explore the land.
However, for Qikiqtania wakei (this is the name the find received), life on land turned out to be completely indigestible.
A fossil lobe-finned fish lived about 365 million years ago, and its size was about 75 centimeters.
Urgent problems of underwater inhabitants
According to American paleontologists, Qikiqtania wakei returned to the water for reasons beyond its control.
The point is in its fins: they turned out to be intended only for swimming, when in close relatives of the fish they could serve for walking along the bottom.
On the humerus of Qikiqtania wakei, paleontologists have not been able to find traces of attachment of joints and muscles. So, they came to the conclusion that the fish tried to get on land, but not for long.
The generic name, pronounced kik-kik-tani-ah, refers to the Inuktitut words Qikiqtaaluk or Qikiqtani, the traditional name for the region where the fossil was found.
When this fish was alive, many hundreds of millions of years ago, it was a warm environment with rivers and streams. The name honors the late David Wake, a scientist and mentor who has inspired so many of us.
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