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The natural world. Looking pretty for 3.5b years.

How Did Fish Start Walking on Land? One Step at a Time

How Did Fish Start Walking on Land? One Step at a Time

Author: Reilly Capps/Thursday, September 4, 2014/Categories: natural history

[These fishes are adaptable fishes.]

We know that life evolved in the ocean. So how did it crawl out and start walking on land? Was there something particularly attractive on land? A Starbucks, perhaps? 

Or are species just waaaay more adaptable than we might think. 

Researchers raised a certain (very adaptable) species on land for a year and -- guess what? -- they underwent physical changes that made it easier for them to walk on land. Basically, they grew legs. 

Ok, not quite. But their bodies did grow stronger in certain areas to make it easier to walk on land. And it's easy to see how the physical changes that happened to them could get solidified by natural selection. Then, billions of years later, you go from those little fish to United States Senators. (We must always remember that evolution is not an ascent.) 

For old time's sake, here's my favorite Carl Sagan explanation of the way molecules become man: 

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