Elpistostega: The creature that gave us fingers. One of the first "fish" that dared to go on land and acquired full-fledged limbs
Categories: Animals | Nature | Photo project | WorldBy Vika https://pictolic.com/en/article/elpistostega-the-creature-that-gave-us-fingers-one-of-the-first-fish-that-dared-to-go-on-land-and-acquired-full-fledged-limbs
This happened in the late Devonian time, approximately 380-370 million years ago, in the territory of future Canada. In the wide mouths of the rivers, it became more and more crowded, and on land - more and more interesting. Centipedes and scorpions have already fully mastered the earth. Plants have done this even earlier and covered almost the entire planet. But the vertebrates were still sitting in the water, pushing and devouring each other from anger. But it's time to crawl out to the ground en masse and own it! There were few daredevils-pioneers (in the most literal sense). One of the first was elpistostega - a creature that gave us and all terrestrial vertebrates fingers!
1. Sanyok, why are you swimming in the water like a primitive? Let's get out on land, there's fire!
Elpistostega belonged to the Stegocephalians, a group of half-fish, half-amphibians that first dared to conquer the earth. The length of the daredevil exceeded 1.5 meters. His torso was flat—purely fishy. But the head, fins, and lifestyle - not quite.
2. This is me, after 3 hours of lying in the bath, I go out onto mortal land.
Elpistostega was extremely curious - she spent more and more time on a strange uninhabited land. In order to comfortably move around the unfamiliar land, the non-amphibious under fish stubbornly did not miss the day of arms and legs, notably pumping their limbs - they turned from fins into full-fledged paws!
3. Gotta get up, gotta get up...
Moreover, elpistostega was the first among four-legged animals that could descend on nails. A 2020 analysis showed that Stegocephalian photo feet had bony structures similar to our phalanges.
4. Comparison of a human hand and an elpistosteg foot. The same color indicates the same areas.
The muzzle went from vertically flat to horizontally flat, like that of frogs with newts. And instead of gills, elpistostega used spiracles - just like a whale. This means that the four-legged beast did not breathe oxygen dissolved in water, but atmospheric air.
The mouth of a fish with paws is stuffed with large sharp teeth, which means that the beast must have been a predator. The development of sushi gave Elpistostege a huge advantage: there were twice as many places to dine! But in the water, they can devour you too, but on land - there were no predators yet. So it's also safe here. The main thing is not to crawl far from the water, so as not to turn into a dried roach.
5. So, collect your belongings, I got tickets for land, we have a couple of hours!
So is Elpistostega still a fish or already an amphibian? Scientists have more or less figured out this issue. Since there are already fingers, it can crawl, and the head is like an amphibian, then this is already an amphibian. Calling it "neither fish nor fowl" will no longer work. This meat is the point, albeit with a fish flavor.
Keywords: Elpistostega | Animals | Interesting animals | Nature | Plants | Canada | Strange creations
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