Bob Strauss defines ten of the most important missing links in evolutionary history. These remarkable animals take us from the sea, to land, to the sky; from scales, to feathers, to fur.
The phrase “missing link,” Strauss says, is a bit misleading in the sense that A) they aren’t missing – they have been positively identified in the fossil record; and B) in any particular line of evolution there would not, of course, have been any “missing link.” Hundreds or thousands of “transitional” species likely existed between a fish and a newt.
Here is Bob Strauss’ abridged list; follow the link at the bottom to view the original page with descriptions of each animal.
1. The Vertebrate Missing Link – Pikaia
2. The Tetrapod Missing Link – Tiktaalik
3. The Amphibian Missing Link – Eucritta
4. The Reptile Missing Link – Hylonomus
5. The Dinosaur Missing Link – Eoraptor
6. The Pterosaur Missing Link – Darwinopterus
7. The Plesiosaur Missing Link – Nothosaurus
8. The Therapsid Missing Link – Lystrosaurus
9. The Mammal Missing Link – Megazostrodon
10. The Bird Missing Link – Archaeopteryx
View 10 Missing Links in Vertebrate Evolution on About.com