Transitional fossils

June 7, 2009 • 10:02 am

The latest issue of the free online journal, Evolution: Education & Outreach, highlights transitional fossils.  There are several good articles here: I especially liked Jenny Clack’s piece on the fish-to-reptile transition, which is now documented by many more fossils than just the famous Tiktaalik, and Thewissen et al.’s article on the evolution of whales from terrestrial mammals. The articles have nice figures for teaching purposes. This is a great journal for laypeople and scientists alike to keep up with education in evolutionary biology, and it’s free.

7 thoughts on “Transitional fossils

  1. This is a fantastic journal that I discovered only last year. Highly recommended to everyone. Browse through the past issues.

  2. Yes, those are beautiful, and the one tends to rectify the impression that was given in the media (including the PBS program about Kitzmiller) that Tiktaalik was the first known transition between fish and amphibian.

    It’s great to see that journal, because contrary to the frequent claims of creationists (including IDists), scientists are not trying to find evidence in favor of evolution at all, only looking for the “hows” of evolution. Thus, the many transitionals found tend not to be very well publicized (not counting Ida and Tiktaalik, of course), since scientists aren’t especially excited by still more evidence in favor of evolution.

    Here’s hoping that they fill the one really big gap–the tendency of evolutionary evidence to accumulate while the public remains largely ignorant of the enormity of the evidence for unplanned and undesigned evolution, and the absence of evidence for design.

    Glen Davidson

  3. Just picked up W.E.I.T. a couple weeks ago and just got around to your Fossils chapter last night. I skimmed the Dinosaur-Bird article in this journal this afternoon and was amused to see them call Archaeopteryx a “bird” whereas you refer to it as “reptile,” which only emphasizes its transitional status! But wait til the creationists jump on that one…

    Enjoying the book, btw. Hope all is well.

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