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Living Transitional Species

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posted on Jul, 2 2008 @ 03:14 AM
I feel I may be disobeying a "cardinal rule" of biology by posting this, but here goes.

I have been thinking recently. The inability to accept evolution is often rooted in some deep misunderstanding about it's nature and consequences. However, similarly common is a "righteous" denial of transitional fossils. There was the odd hoax, but the rest are real.

However, I am not very strong in paleontology. I don't have the knowledge to make a great argument in this field. I do own several books of paleontology, from different authors, so I draw my opinions from their findings.

However, I am much stronger in biology. I can easily whip up an argument from stored knowledge, because I have studied this field for most of my life.

So if the creationists won't acknowledge transitions of animals already extinct, why not cite a few living examples, which are undeniable? My point here is that these animals are "on the way" to becoming "more advanced" animals, something often said impossible by creationists.

Fish to amphibians
-Mudskippers (Periopthalmus, et al.) these ray-finned fish are often mistaken for a frog or salamander. They take the land-venturing behaviour of Gobies to a whole new level, actually living most of their lives on land. They present several shocking adaptations to this behaviour.

* Anatomical and behavioural adaptations that allow them to move effectively on land as well as in the water.[3]

* The ability to breathe through their skin and the lining of their mouth (the mucosa) and throat (the pharynx). This is only possible when the mudskipper is wet, limiting mudskippers to humid habitats and requiring that they keep themselves moist. This mode of breathing, similar to that employed by amphibians, is known as cutaneous air breathing.[2] Another important adaptation that aids breathing are their enlarged gill chambers, where they retain air. These act like a scuba diver's oxygen cylinders, and supply oxygen for respiration also while on land.[2]

* Digging of deep burrows in soft sediments that allow the fish to thermoregulate;[4] avoid marine predators during the high tide when the fish and burrow are submerged;[5] and for laying their eggs.[6] Even when their burrow is submerged, mudskippers maintain an air pocket inside it, which allows them to breathe in conditions of very low oxygen concentration.[7][8][9]

-Walking catfish, walking perches, Snakeheads
(Clarias; Ctenopoma, et al, Channa, et al respectively)
All these fish are capable of transversing across land, using their pectoral fins to "walk".

-Land Catfish
Living in damp leaf litter, this is the only fish known to live solely on land.

-Flying Fish Exocoetidae
While not truly flying this creature demonstrates how a small morphological change equals big progress. Basically my point is, fish can glide, as can reptiles; and the dino-bird hypothesis still has more evidence than creationism and the God hypothesis.

-Freshwater Hatchet Fish Gasteropelecidae
These fish are capable of powered flight, through a greatly enlarged sternal region. The flight is used very effectively to escape predators. The point above now applies doubly.

-Domino Damselfish Dascyllus trimaculatus
These fish are closely related, and ancestral to, the popular "clownfish" and are capable of "double lives". They can either inhabit an anemone, or not. They aren't forced to as clownfish are, and other species of damselfish such as the striped chromis (Neoglyphiodon) are also recorded as spontaneously "making the switch". The point being, damselfish are transitions in that they represent a link between regular ray-finned fish that will be stung by an anemone, and clownfish that must live in one to survive.

To be continued?

[edit on 2-7-2008 by SlyCM]

posted on Jul, 2 2008 @ 03:28 AM
-Egg laying mammals, Monotremata
These are mammals. That lay eggs, and have no teats (but produce milk that oozes from pores). Those are common characteristics of reptiles. Yet, they are warm blooded, and have different types of teeth, the latter a characteristic found only in mammals. They are therefore intermediate species.

-Triggerfish, Balistidae
If one were to compare the order Tetraodontiformes with other ray-finned fish, one would see that triggers are intermediates between those two.

Puffers power their swim with pectoral, dorsal, and anal fins (latter two unique among tetraodonts), and not so much with caudal fins. They also lack rib bones, and have no spiny rays in their fins.

Triggers power their swim with pectoral, dorsal, anal, and to get a quick burst of speed, caudal fins. Their rig cage has been reduced to just a single bone, and they only have three spiny rays.

Most other ray-finned fish swim with mostly caudal or pectoral fins, and most have a full rib cage. Most also have spiny rays, and none otherwise look much like any tetraodonts. The evolution of tetraodonts likely was the result of "advancement through reduction". However, far from being "primitive", they are intelligent, quick, and strong fish.

-Legless lizards; Another intermediate.

Pygopodidae is the family of legless lizards. They are distinguished from snakes by their eyelids that can blink (snakes have no eyelids), external ear holes (snakes have no ears at all, internal or external), and flat, non-forked tongues. Many species also feature vestigial limbs, in the form of scaly flaps.

Will leave it at that for now.

Oh, and since I'm on the topic.

The misconception about the lack of transitional fossils is perpetuated in part by a common way of thinking about categories. When people think about a category like "dog" or "ant," they often subconsciously believe that there is a well-defined boundary around the category, or that there is some eternal ideal form (for philosophers, the Platonic idea) which defines the category. This kind of thinking leads people to declare that Archaeopteryx is "100% bird," when it is clearly a mix of bird and reptile features (with more reptile than bird features, in fact). In truth, categories are man-made and artificial. Nature is not constrained to follow them, and it doesn't.

[edit on 2-7-2008 by SlyCM]

posted on Jul, 2 2008 @ 03:58 AM
I like the proposition but to many fish examples, not that i know, but I'm very interested in your logic if you get me.

Any more land animals you know of , birds, wildebeest, gnat, etc that would help show that many species .... if not all.... are in a transitory state

posted on Jul, 2 2008 @ 04:21 AM
Creationists argue that similarity of form is simply God reusing the same building blocks. As for the fish, it could be argued that it is instead micro evolution, something that most creationists are willing to admit, or God made them that way.
Personally, I want to know what happend the the Mausosaurs, plesiosaurs, icthyosaurs, ect.
That said, let the bickering commence, remember, any support of evolution is athiesm/satanic influences, and any support of creationism is foolishness and primitive superstition. Lets make sure this thread ends up like the multitude of other origins thread on ATS: Ultimately pointless with a lot of bruised egos and warns.

posted on Jul, 4 2008 @ 08:46 PM
You can cite other living examples -- notably elephants. The African elephant and Indian elephants are completley different genuses and species. They're incompatible enough that only one case of crossbreeding is known.

Zebras are another case-- there's five different species, and they have different numbers of chromosomes. Another example that came to mind are fish and arthropods living in caves -- they're the same as the species living outside the caves but have lost their eyes and melanistic pigmentation.

However, I believe they cover this in the "we believe in microevolution (otherwise the ability to breed chiuhuahuas and mastiffs from the basic "dog" would have to be attributed to divine intervention and not genetic manipulation from breeding) but not macroevolution".

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