Researchers Raise Bichirs To Walk On Land

Posted by on August 28, 2014 - zero

By Leonard Ho

Click through to see the images.

When we imagine evolution, most of us picture a fish taking its first steps out of water to become a land-dwelling tetropod. Of course, this major evolutionary step didn’t happen so quickly, but researchers at the University of Ottowa appeared to have taken this idea to heart by teaching birchirs to walk on land. In the process, the birchirs are teaching us a lot about how aquatic life may have transitioned onto land.

First thing’s first. For anyone who doesn’t know what birchirs are, they are just about the coolest fish on earth. They look like prehistoric dinosaur fish with pronounced armored scales, crazy archaic fins, and a head that looks more like a lizard than a fish. In fact, the jaws of birchirs more closely resemble tetrapods (four-limbed vertebrates like amphibians, lizards, birds, and mammals) than they do fish jaws.

What’s more, in addition to gills, bichirs also breath air via a pair of primitive ventral lungs! It’s little surprise the researchers concentrated their efforts on bichirs (specifically Polypterus senegalus) because of their ability to live out-of-water. This unique order of fish is as close to the “missing …read more

Read more here: Advanced Aquarist



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