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Fish Raised On Land Give Clues To How Early Animals Left the Seas 62

Posted by samzenpus
from the fishy-first-step dept.
sciencehabit writes When raised on land, a primitive, air-breathing fish walks much better than its water-raised comrades, according to a new study. The landlubbers even undergo skeletal changes that improve their locomotion. The work may provide clues to how the first swimmers adapted to terrestrial life. The study suggests that the ability of a developing organism to adjust to new conditions—its so-called developmental plasticity—may have played a role in the transition from sea to land.
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Fish Raised On Land Give Clues To How Early Animals Left the Seas

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  • Oblig. (Score:5, Funny)

    by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Wednesday August 27, 2014 @10:10PM (#47771445) Journal
    "Ve...haf vays... of making you valk...'
  • by SternisheFan (2529412) on Wednesday August 27, 2014 @10:13PM (#47771471)
    LiveScience.com has a longer, more descriptive article/video...

    http://www.livescience.com/475... [livescience.com]

  • The ability to adjust to new conditions played a role in fish adjusting to new conditions!
    • by Tablizer (95088)

      Call me when the fish can do my taxes.

    • by wonkey_monkey (2592601) on Thursday August 28, 2014 @03:50AM (#47772457) Homepage

      The conditions may not be so "new" to the species. They might have evolved this developmental plasticity precisely because they've been exposed to this same variety of conditions in their evolutionary past.

      • by Firethorn (177587)

        We see some level of this even with humans - a human who grows up lifting heavy objects will develop more muscles for doing so, and one that experiences regular bone stress will develop stronger bones in those areas.

        I agree that they were exposed to it in the past, probably on a regular basis. There's a reason these fish are air breathers. The ability to move between various shallow ponds really raises the habitat areas for mudskippers, for example.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    I, for one, welcome our Earth's newbie, developmental plasticity fish overlords...
    • No, no, no! You have it backwards. Here on Soviet Slashdot, developmental plasticity fish overlords welcome you!
      • by tlambert (566799)

        No, no, no! You have it backwards. Here on Soviet Slashdot, developmental plasticity fish overlords welcome you!

        Ironically, it's a revival of Lysenkoism, which has its supportive roots in Soviet era propaganda - making your comment quite apt, given that there was official party support from Stalin, to the point of those opposing the idea being executed. It's gained popularity again due to possible epigenetic mechanisms, but this hasn't really panned out in terms of direct heritability of the induced characteristics.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L... [wikipedia.org]

        • by gewalker (57809)

          It's getting hard to distinguish Lamarckianism, Lysenkoism and epigenetics these days.

  • You put an amphibious fish on land and it develops its fin muscles for walking and you keep one in water and their muscles develop for swimming... and this was the big discovery?
    • by Livius (318358)

      I'm guessing there is some interesting science being investigated but there's no way to know from the summary's statement of the obvious.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    This is very interesting, but unfortunately adds itself to the vast body of evidence that supports the Scientific Theory of Evolution, and therefore will be derided and railed against by the usual suspects. Im fully expecting this study to be banned in various States and the study's authors to have their names dragged through the conspiracy mud in Fox News.

  • by penguinoid (724646) <spambait001@yahoo.com> on Wednesday August 27, 2014 @11:20PM (#47771729) Homepage Journal

    These creatures take to land like a fish takes to water.

  • They bought 149 fish and based their experiment on 111 in a terrarium and 38 in the control?

    Seriously? Who got to choose the fish that went into the overloaded terrarium ?

  • I doubt they're viewing any on going development, likely the thing already had genes present to allow it to develop differently if given a season with less water available.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    In the beginning, we were all fish swimming around in the water. Then one day a couple of fish had a retard baby, and the retard baby was different so it got to live. So retard fish goes on to make more retard babies. Then one day a retard baby crawls out of the ocean with its mutant fish hands, and it had butt sex with a squirrel or something and made this, retard frog squirrel. Then that had butt sex with a monkey and had a retard baby which was a monkey fish frog, and then that monkey fish frog had butt

  • ...how the temporal placticity becomes permanent.

    All the creatures have some slight bone changes, due to the absence of water and the effect of gravity.

    Over time, those whose genes allow for greater changes breed true, while those whose genes limit these beneficial changes tend to breed less.

    Eventually someone gets a mutation that makes it slightly easier to walk and effectively makes it much harder to swim. As they no longer swim, that mutation gets bred into everyone.

    Ta da, the 'temporary plasticity

  • I've heard the same story as most...fish left the seas to spawn amphibians, reptiles, and other land animals.

    Such stories never address invertebrates. If, as the headline suggests, all land animals come from fish who left the water, does this mean insects and other land invertebrates evolved from fish?

"Irrationality is the square root of all evil" -- Douglas Hofstadter

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