Tiktaalik facts for kids
Temporal range: Upper Devonian
Tiktaalik lived about 375 million years ago. It is part of the transition between fish such as Panderichthys, known from fossils 380 million years old, and early tetrapods such as Acanthostega and Ichthyostega, known from fossils about 365 million years old. Its mixture of basal fish and derived tetrapod characteristics led one of its discoverers, Neil Shubin, to call Tiktaalik a 'fishapod'.
This, and other species like it, prove that legs started to develop before these animals were land-based. They were shallow-water carnivorous fish, or fishapods. Tiktaalik was therefore a transitional fossil, and an example of mosaic evolution.
Images for kids
Skull showing spiracle holes above the eyes
Tiktaalik Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.