posted on May, 23 2006 @ 07:04 AM
Intruiging, and no doubt controversial. Not so long ago, there was a morphologist named Haeckel, who thought that the fetus goes through forms that
the species has evolved through, not in exact detail of course. "Ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny", they would say.
Turns out to not be quite so true, and its lead to some people thinking, for example, that a human fetus has gills when its in its 'fish' stage.
Rather, individual organs can sometimes ungergo these 'recapitulation' changes. The human fetus has 'pharyngeal pouches' that are like the
ancient gill slits of our fishy ancestors, but aren't fully developed gills, and these pouches are involved in the development (ontogeny) of the
lower jar and arms, a process that is seen in the evolutionary development (phylogeny) of the the lower jaw and arms.
Fascinating that they've found this similarity in foot structure. I wonder why the foot should need to develop in such a way.