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Good articleTiktaalik has been listed as one of the Natural sciences good articles under the good article criteria. If you can improve it further, please do so. If it no longer meets these criteria, you can reassess it.
Article milestones
May 8, 2006Good article nomineeListed
July 19, 2009Good article reassessmentKept
Current status: Good article

Is it time to drop the word "putative"?[edit]

Regarding the tetrapod footprints in Poland, right-left-right-left... trackways, isn't it time drop the word "Putative" in the introduction: "Putative tetrapod footprints found in Poland and reported in Nature in January 2010 were 'securely dated' at 10 million years older than..." (talk) 15:07, 3 September 2012 (UTC)


Full scientific nomenclature needed! Class? Order? bd2412 T 22:41, 5 April 2006 (UTC)

when I searched for 'Tiktaalik' nothing was found... but this page came up when I added 'Tiktaalik' to just after '' any ideas on how to fix this?

Hi, in the NYT article, they show a photo of a specimen with a reconstruction that shows the front of the animal, but does not show the likely state of the rear, as it were.

An AP article, distributed in MSNBC has a nice illustration:

It was done by Zina Deretsky of the National Science Foundation.

Could that artist/source be contacted for copyright?

IIRC, no fossils of the rear limbs or vertebrae were found, so anything that shows it has been based off of previous, more intact fossils.
Also, would you please sign your comments with four tildes (~) so I know who is adding to this page? Ladlergo 15:34, 6 April 2006 (UTC)

See clades for Tetrapodomorpha and Tetrapoda to see where Tiktaalik might fit in if it is intermediate between Panderichthys and Ichthyostega. Gdr 16:04, 6 April 2006 (UTC) The main characterisitic of a tetrapod is having limbs with well formed digits. Something Tiktaalik did not have.

Wikiquote link[edit]

not found. Anyone planning to add anything later? "glug glug" and "I'm a dead fish thing" vandalism was what I was expecting but it turned out to be blank. Jellypuzzle | Talk 16:08, 6 April 2006 (UTC)

...and it's gone. Jellypuzzle | Talk 18:07, 6 April 2006 (UTC)

Order of article[edit]

Although the discovery is in the news right now, at some point the "Description" section should be moved ahead of the "Discovery" section. bd2412 T 20:00, 6 April 2006 (UTC)

Note 3[edit]

Why is note 3 placed where it currently is placed? Alexander 007 20:48, 6 April 2006 (UTC)

It's been fixed by Gdr. Alexander 007 21:04, 6 April 2006 (UTC)


The Guardian says the pronunciation is "tic-TAH-lick". Can anyone IPA that for the article? Melchoir 21:06, 6 April 2006 (UTC)

In Inuktitut, it would be roughly /tikta:lik/ (maybe /tɪktɑ:lɪk/ in some dialects? - I dunno, my pronunciation's never been too good.) Syllabic stress isn't such a big deal in Inukitut, because it has phonemic length. "tic-TAH-lick" or "tic-TAW-lick" ought to be reasonably good pronunciations. --Diderot 21:44, 6 April 2006 (UTC)
Hmm... well, I'll go go with your first guess. Thanks! Melchoir 22:19, 6 April 2006 (UTC)

Missing Link[edit]

I added information from this site [1] that confirms that "for all its tetrapod-like features, the Tiktaalik is still clearly a fish." Is this biased? Just wanted to know... Scorpionman 03:02, 7 April 2006 (UTC)

It's a fish in the sense that it was most likely an obligate water-dweller. But it has many features of tetrapods (lungs, no operculum, neck, four limbs, ball-and-socket shoulder joint, etc). This is what paleontogists have been saying for some time: that vertebrates developed the key features of tetrapods while still living in the water and then moved onto land, not vice versa. Gdr 12:01, 7 April 2006 (UTC)
I'd say that it's biased. The other side of that could read "for all its fish-like features, the Tiktaalik is still clearly a tetrapod." After all, scientists are fairly certain that it has four limbs, even if they're rudimentary. Welcome to the fuzzy world of creating labels for the purpose of classifying living things. Ladlergo 19:53, 7 April 2006 (UTC)
Do you know that you're telling your fellow evolutionists that they're biased? That's right! I read the article from the link Scorpion provided and it's an evolutionist-written article, yet they still confirm that it's a fish! And, furthermore, its limbs lack the bones that mark a true tetrapod, so you are the one who is biased, my friend. Ratso 20:28, 7 April 2006 (UTC)
Huh? I know that evolutionary scientists are biased; however, they tend to be biased on their pet theories (ie the numbering of bird fingers) and spend less time splitting hairs on whether something could be completely considered a fish. I'm happy to call it a fish, as it's closer to the current definition of a fish than a tetrapod. However, if the hindlimbs are discovered and they turn out to be very tetrapod-like. expect people to reclassify it, and perhaps even make a new category. Ladlergo 17:01, 9 April 2006 (UTC)
P.S. Even its discoverers aren't completely satisfied, and are going back to Ellesmere Island to find another fossil that more closely resembles a "missing link". Ratso 20:30, 7 April 2006 (UTC)

The "it's still a fish" edit makes it seem like it's not an important transitional fossil. It's not supposed to be anything other than a fish. It is supposed to show a new stage in the development of limbs, which it does and thus I'm removing the edit. I'll try to have one of the discoverers come on here to fix this article as I can contact him relatively easily.Keio

The section is fine. It's a fish and doesn't have the characteristics of true tetrapods. You're just attacking creationists, that's all. I'm sick of hearing it. Ratso 17:24, 8 April 2006 (UTC)
A tetrapod is any animal that has "four feet, legs or leglike appendages." So if the rear end of Titaalik turns out to have two leglike appendages, it's a tetrapod. The phrase "true tetrapod" is meaningless. Ladlergo 17:06, 9 April 2006 (UTC)

"The section is fine. It's a fish and doesn't have the characteristics of true tetrapods. You're just attacking creationists, that's all. I'm sick of hearing it." Wrong. It makes it sound like it being a "fish" means its not an important transitional fossil, which it is. No one's attacking creationism. If your views don't allighn with the facts, oh well, the article shouldn't fail to allign with facts because you don't like them. Keio

Of course it's a fish in the modern sense that a descendent of a group (as opposed to a species) is still a member of that group, i.e. in the sense that a bird is also a dinosaur. But this doesn't help you if you want people to believe that it's not transitional between fish and tetrapods, which it also is. You can describe it as a fish if you like, but the only point of saying it's "still" a fish is to wrongly suggest that it's not transitional. Your brilliant discovery that it's a fish doesn't lead to the conclusion you want it to, and the way you want to put it only leads to the sort of misunderstanding that is needed to keep creationists creationistic (talk) 11:52, 20 November 2007 (UTC)snaxalotl the fish

Ok, I am quite confused here. How do scientist know that this creature has lungs when it is impossible to find any tender organs in a fossil. Is it only me that think that this kind of proposal is "unscientific"? --

"Many of the specialized features of Tiktaalik relate to changes in respiration relative to that in more primitive sarcopterygians. Tiktaalik is transitional in the evolutionary shift from the pharyngeal and opercular pumps employed by fish to the buccal and costal pumping mechanisms of tetrapods. The expanded gular plates and robust branchial elements could have provided the mechanical basis for buccal pumping for lungs as well as gills. The emphasis on buccal pumping is further augmented by the expansion of the width of the skull, which enhances the volume of the buccal cavity. The likelihood that gular plates and other branchial elements assumed a predominant respiratory function for air breathing in Tiktaalik is increased by loss of the operculum and the apparent reduction of the opercular apparatus." -- the paper. Make of it what you will. Evercat (talk) 14:30, 5 March 2011 (UTC)
Tiktaalik is part of a lineage (the Tetrapodomorpha) in which all species have lungs. So, it had lungs, except if lungs were lost, which is less parsimonious. Moreover, they are anatomical elements, like described previously, and also the choanae.N@ldo (talk) 14:34, 6 March 2011 (UTC)

More Images[edit]

Some pretty good high-quality images on this site: Do these have the same staus as press release photos? If so, we could probably use them on wikipedia.Dinoguy2 12:57, 7 April 2006 (UTC)

External link[edit]

Excuse me, who removed this link [2] from the article? Why was it removed? Ratso 17:59, 7 April 2006 (UTC)

Probably the reason is "because it's pseudoscientific nonsense". bogdan 18:16, 7 April 2006 (UTC)
Oh I see! If it's psuedoscientific nonsense, then why do these evolutionists make these huge treks up there to Ellesmere Island simply so they can find this fossil and disprove it?! They sound desperate! Anyway, I'm going to put the link back. It's perfectly scientific; the scientists at AiG (yes, they are scientists) haven't had a chance to examine the fossil yet. Ratso 20:25, 7 April 2006 (UTC)
You see, they have a desire to know, in the same way that the Answers in Genesis folks have a desire to remain in the dark but still take part in debate. I'm also guessing that trekking up Ellesmere Island would be quite fun, and the area would be beautiful. But, clearly, it is more likely that evolutionists are extremely desperate, and clinging to nothing but the very weak fact that the geologic record only shows more complex creatures coming after less complex creatures. There is no evidence of people, ducks, elephants, or any of the billions of land animals in pre-Devonian layers, which make up over 90% of the time Earth existed, and over 89% of the total time with living creatures—no evidence at all of land animals anywhere in all of that time. Now, if creationists want to go searching for these land animals at earlier times, feel free. Your work and results would be greatly appreciated. Until then, please avoid characterizing people out of your own ignorance. — 0918BRIAN • 2006-04-08 02:06
So you're saying you can prove that this thing evolved into land animals? Ratso 17:32, 8 April 2006 (UTC)

The Answers in Genesis article adds nothing to the Wikipedia article. It's boilerplate creationist criticism of the kind that is wheeled out every time someone finds a fossil with characteristics that are intermediate between two groups. It adds nothing to our knowledge about Tiktaalik. So it's not an appropriate external link. Gdr 21:48, 7 April 2006 (UTC)

Now be fair, they carefully say they know nothing about it before going on to provide some wild speculation along their usual line. ...dave souza, talk 22:36, 7 April 2006 (UTC)
Everyone who disagrees with evolution is an uneducated fanatic, then, is that it? If you are a true scientist, then you should be open-minded toward their views and not dismiss them as "pseudoscientific nonsense". By the way, they didn't "carefully" say they know "nothing" about it, they said they haven't had a chance to examine it yet but will soon. Stop bashing them up for their beliefs, which are perfectly scientific. Ratso 17:18, 8 April 2006 (UTC)
No, they are clearly NOT scientific. AIG has been under fire for almost every single claim they make, and by SCIENTISTS. The people there are not qualified in their fields and have been discredited numerous times. They haven't made it into peer reviewed journals and have repeatedly failed to show an understanding ov evolutionary theory and a refusal to impartially examine the evidence. The link gives nothing except unscientific nonsense. The belief the earth is 6000, that life didn't evolve, etc. are completely unscientific and ignore all the evidence. Until AIG manages to publish anythin in a peer reviewd journal about their claims, or manage to defeat any7 of the refuations out there by real scientists, they should be excluded. Keio
Just to be fair, AiG does have a number of qualified scientists on their staff. They are qualified by degrees from valid degree-granting universities. One cannot hand out the shrinks from authority badge to AiG; they've gone a long ways to recruit and hire card carrying scientists. Examples include Dr Jason Lisle, astrophysics from Colorado University and Dr. John Baumgardner, geophysicist. As to whether they carry on a scientific profession after joining AiG, that is doubtful; There is very little or no scholarly output from AiG except in creationist journals; most seem to become evangelists (in both meanings of the term) once there, a stop "doing" any science. They most certainly are barred from staying on staff and producing anything which can be construed as anti-biblical (either directly or of biblical tradition). The AiG states their requirements for that right on their website: .SkoreKeep (talk) 03:51, 28 September 2013 (UTC)
Yes, it is scientific, and all you and those "scientists" know how to do is bash anyone and anything you don't understand. You know what? I agree that most "scientists" think that life evolved; and, as I say, better to go to heaven with the few than go to hell with the majority. As I can see, all the evolutionists on here can do is make blanket statements and bash anything they don't agree with or can't understand. It's also obvious that you don't have the foggiest understanding of creation. I would recommend that you read Scientific Creationism by Henry Morris. You should educate yourself on creationism before bashing it. Ratso 00:54, 11 April 2006 (UTC)
Science is actually not about being open-minded to any crackpot on the street. There is a proper definition of what is science and what is not. If you insist on including the link, please explain in detail how it represents science. To me, the article seems to be blatantly extremist (the author is quick to point fingers and label publications as "anti-creation") and I'm not sure it is acceptable under the guidelines in WP:RS. --Shimei 03:30, 11 April 2006 (UTC)
We can leave this article out since it's only a preliminary response. BUT, when they have examined the fossil and published a full response, then that article will be linked to. We can't have this AiG-bashing simply because they disagree with mainstream "science". Ratso 14:00, 11 April 2006 (UTC)
So if I examine the fossil and decide it's a prehistoric alien species from the Eagle Nebula that crash-landed on earth 300 years ago, we can put a link to my research in the article too? Cool!Dinoguy2 14:36, 11 April 2006 (UTC)
Kindly leave your stupid sarcasm and flippancy off of this page. Scorpionman 01:18, 22 April 2006 (UTC)
AiG is clearly biased and can not be cited as an unbised source. But others can reference or talk about AiG's scientific study of this article's subject, if and when they do such a study. And we should not prejudge what will or won't be appropriate to add to the article at that time. Which previous scientific study has AiG done that has been accepted as valid? As far as I can tell AiG does no scientific studies but merely comments on science from the point of view of if we begin with faith in the literal truth of the Bible from the very first verse then what therefore must be true of the conclusions mainstream science has reached. That's not science, that's religion. And this is an article about science, not religious reaction to science. WAS 4.250 16:44, 11 April 2006 (UTC)

The fundamental thing to remeber here is that when scientists disagree with each other, they do NOT say the other person is "Not doing science" is "dishonest" or that "They are unqualified to be doing research and full of balogne". They simply dispute the findings. However, AIG is under fire from scientists all over the spectrum, and the fact they require a statement of faith and disallow publishing of anything contrary to what they believe (even if found in research!) means they're not objective, or even maintaining such a pretense. THAT is why they aren't considered scientific. They don't do real science. Scientists don't simply attack science results they don't like, they try to show how it's wrong. With AIG they've been so frusterated at the dishonesty that the establishment doesn't pay them a lick of respect. They have no credibility. If we link to them we might as well like to Dr. Dino. Oh, and Morrison has been debunked so utterly by scientists that following his words shows a lack of understanding in the scientific disciplines. Keio 21:42, 12 April 2006 (UTC)

All creationists are "under fire" from mainstream scientists because these mainstream scientists don't want to be disagreed with. Keio, you are absolutely wrong. AiG has found evidence against these "millions of years" theories; I needn't list them all but one example is the coelacanth. This fish was thought to be extinct but was found alive and well off the coast of Africa. But no doubt you will find some silly way to "explain it away" because you're being challenged. Ratso, I wouldn't argue with these people anymore. They're prejudiced against anyone who disagrees with their theories and they are biased against all creationism. If you can find some real evidence for their being "scientifically inaccurate", Keio, then you should write to AiG and tell them. Scorpionman 23:46, 18 April 2006 (UTC)
I suggest you read the articles you're linking to. The coelacanths that live today are members of only one of three families that once existed. In fact, the species that are alive today have not been found in the fossil record. Ladlergo 17:40, 19 April 2006 (UTC)
So, what? They're still coelacanths! All coelacanths were thought to be extinct until these specimens turned up. Hypothetically, what would you say if a tyrannosaurus rex turned up today unchanged? The first thing you'll say is "that couldn't happen". I want to know what you'd say if it did. Scorpionman 01:22, 22 April 2006 (UTC)
Ok, multiple problems with this. Saying they are still "coelacanths" even though it is an entire family is highly misleading. For comparison, both orangatans and humans are in the same family. Second, if a T Rex did turn up today, there wouldn't be any serious problem with that aside from the lack of a location for a stable breeding pool. But T Rex is a species, which makes it very different from a family (it might help if you read the biological definition of family). JoshuaZ 01:30, 22 April 2006 (UTC)
Stop pretending to misunderstand me. Coelacanths were not unchanged, making your T. rex example a straw man. However, as a scientific exercise...
I would ask where they were found and what behaviors they used to remain undetected for so long. I would also expect several groups of scientists to begin studies on the ways they obtain food (still under some debate), their mating and protection of eggs and young, and other behaviors. Another group would count the number of individuals within the population and note their age distribution. Several institutions would take blood samples and begin sequencing the T. rex DNA, both to add it to the current species library and to look for signs of inbreeding.
Just because something is unexpected doesn't mean that scientists choke and are unable to deal with the new discovery; in fact, it means that scientists become even more excited, because it shows that there's plenty that isn't known yet. See Homo floresiensis for an example of this. Ladlergo 12:40, 22 April 2006 (UTC)
We'd better stop this argument before it gets even more ludicrous. Scorpionman 13:34, 22 April 2006 (UTC)

The AiG’s web site features the tagline “Upholding the Authority of the Bible from the Very First Verse.” Their statement of faith states “The 66 books of the Bible are the written Word of God. The Bible is divinely inspired and inerrant throughout. Its assertions are factually true in all the original autographs. It is the supreme authority in everything it teaches.” Statements such as these take AiG out of science and place it firmly in religion. Starting with stating one’s conclusion as given (as a “statement of faith”) and attempting to interpret observed data to fit it may be a valid way to learn about the world (I don’t think it is), but it clearly is not science. This should be obvious. I agree with Scorpionman; it is silly to attempt argument—the definition of science is quite clear. Article talk pages are not for discussing the merits of worldviews. — Knowledge Seeker 07:31, 20 April 2006 (UTC)

Fine, then let's stop arguing about it. Scorpionman 16:12, 20 April 2006 (UTC)
P.S. Keio, Morris (not Morrison) has not been "utterly debunked" by scientists. He's been bashed and name-called, oh yes, but that's not debunking. Scorpionman 13:34, 22 April 2006 (UTC)
Incorrect. He's made a large degree of assertions that have proven to be innaccurate based on the data. Saying otherwise is simply false. Go read some mainstream science, or look for a debunking on google by mainstream science. Contrary to what you think, they don't simply say "creationist nonsense retard blah blah blah". They refute the methodology of his findings, and the very nature of his assertions (ie "you can't know unless you were there"). I find it very frusterating people take AIG et al as reputable scientists when virtually none of them have degrees from anything but degree mills or simply don't have the correct background for the assessments they are making. Keio 13:34, 19 October 2006 (UTC)

Image proposal[edit]

The skull's a nice photo, but dubious for copyvio, as is the nice diagram of transitional species. As proposed at Image talk:41525972 fish transition 416.gif, I'm working on a line drawing to match those we have already like Image:AcanthostegaNewZICA.png. It may be a bit rough and I'll need to buy a new pen in the morning, but hope to have something by the end of Saturday to replace the skull picture and, with the other drawings, form the basis for a replacement for the diagram. If anyone better at these things is working on this, let me know. Ta, ..dave souza, talk 22:36, 7 April 2006 (UTC)

Pic done and put in place of the skull, can be improved if needed: anyone good at tables could arrange this with the others in a vertical table with links to articles, to show the fish transition (see that talk). In the next couple of days I'll try arranging them in a horizontal png timeline. ..dave souza, talk 10:42, 8 April 2006 (UTC)
I think you got some of the bits wrong (tail, legs). See this large version. — 0918BRIAN • 2006-04-08 22:25

Thanks for the link to an illustration I'd not seen. The tail is pure conjecture for anyone, as they're still looking for fossil evidence of the hind legs and tail. The front legs were based mainly on pictures at the second and fourth links below: this nsf illustration doesn't do much to hint at the elbow and wrist joints found. The head shape looks pretty good, but doesn't show the head turning (unlike a fish) or the gill / ear slots. It shows nostrils which are not in evidence on the model photographed at the second and fifth link, IIRC. It's tricky to catch a good likeness, but there don't seem to be major problems with the drawing. Well worth checking out, though. The links used are listed below:

Sources - illustrations and text used for reference (note links in articles to some enlarged illustrations): [3], [4], [5], [6], [7], [8]
Thanks for bringing this up. ...dave souza, talk 00:18, 9 April 2006 (UTC)

Fishapod graphic now added to replace the dodgy "fish transition" image. The graphic can be revised if anyone finds any problems. ..dave souza, talk 09:41, 10 April 2006 (UTC)

Pronunciation, date[edit]

Weren't the fossils just recently found? It currently says 2004 for the date. —Firespeaker 18:51, 9 April 2006 (UTC)

Maybe the fossils were found in 2004 and published in 2006? Does anybody have a cite for the 2004 discovery to confirm this?Dinoguy2 02:42, 10 April 2006 (UTC)
Fieldwork ended in 2004, I don't know what exact year these particular fossils were found in though. It routinely takes several years for specimens to be published on. Actually, 2 years is a short interval compared to a lot of other cases. This is an important specimen though, perhaps one of the most important specimens ever, so I'm sure it got the fast track through the prep lab and Nature probably moved it to the front of the line for publication. Sheep81 04:08, 10 April 2006 (UTC)

Also, there's no stress marked in the transcription of the name. Does anyone know how it's supposed to be stressed, or at least how the media's been stressing it? —Firespeaker 18:51, 9 April 2006 (UTC)

In the "Pronunciation" section above, Diderot seems to be saying that the middle syllable is more lengthened than stressed in its original language. At least the IPA colon means "long" and not stress. I have no idea about the spoken media, but I would guess they're stressing it. Melchoir 02:39, 10 April 2006 (UTC)
Won't you get a better approximation with "tikta-alik", said without a glottal stop? --Wetman 19:28, 10 April 2006 (UTC)
That's what the IPA long mark (ː) is for ;) We shouldn't be approximating things with English orthography anyway; that's what led to the confusion in the first place. From the earlier comments, though, it does look like the 2nd syllable's probably stressed in the English pronuncation at least. —Firespeaker 11:07, 16 April 2006 (UTC)

Creationist Link[edit]

I'll let somebody else go ahead and rmeove that, but to add fuel to the fire, the link states

"What Boisvert is saying here is that Panderichthys had ‘front-wheel drive’: its front fins were bigger and more powerful than its rear fins. However, the early tetrapods were ‘rear-wheel drive’. Consequently, evolution theory predicted that the emergence of hindlimb-powered propulsion would be seen in the interval between Panderichthys and Acanthostega. Tiktaalik fails that prediction. Indeed, it was more of a ‘front-wheel drive’ animal than Panderichthys was."

This is a stunning case of precognition, as the hind fins of Tiktaalik were not even recovered.


Not only the Missing link between Creationists and Pink ponies was found today in Wikipedia, but the animal that came before and after it. The peculiar thing about this long-extinct creature is that its hind legs looked as if it had a size 9 boot shoved sideways up it's rear end ;) News at 11.

 Project2501a 12:40, 11 April 2006 (UTC)

Creation on the Web link[edit]

I have removed this link because it was blatantly partisan and was about Intelligent design, which is generally agreed by scientists to be unscientific. I also don't think a website that goes on about the "secular media" and its conspiracy is worthwhile as a reference on a biology article. --Shimei 03:20, 14 April 2006 (UTC)

Yeah, I know. The reason is not because it's not worth reading but because every doggone user on this whole blasted encyclopedia is biased against intelligent design and against people like Ken Ham and Henry Morris. They shoot them with lies, saying "they're unscientific" and "they're full of crap". I'm sick of hearing this and I'm going to put that link back. You know, most of this stuff is just because you guys show a clear hatred for creationism. Well, get over it. Scorpionman 01:14, 22 April 2006 (UTC)
Obviously creationontheweb is problematic in terms of Wikipedia:Reliable sources, falling under Partisan websites, and fails to meet the standards required for Science and medicine. ...dave souza, talk 17:47, 22 April 2006 (UTC)

True, and i don't want to insist that this link be put into the article but the wiki article states:

The websites, print media, and other publications of political parties and religious groups should be treated with caution, although neither political affiliation nor religious belief is in itself a reason not to use a source.

Notice that it states to be cautious which is certainly a honorable thing to do if one does it honestly. But as it says, this in itself is not a reason to not include a source.--Macguysoft 09:31, 31 December 2006 (UTC)

Though the article at [9] appears of reasonable quality in its argument it fatally flaws its conclusion with the statement that it supports "biotic message theory" with "the evidence from nature points to a single designer, but with a pattern which thwarts evolutionary explanations.". That seems a convenient position and one in which it is hard to present doubts given it innately thwarts such attempts. It would add undue weight to that theory to add the link to Wikipedia given it proposes an unfalsifiable hypothesis (i.e. a single designer) without questioning the origin of that proposed designer (nor any other arguemnet you can use against any flavour of ID). This clearly makes it pseudoscience and it is a pity because if these people focused on science or even their faith instead of this nonsense then the world would probably be a better place for all. Ttiotsw 11:16, 31 December 2006 (UTC)

True as i certainly don't want to debate whether ID is falsifiable as of yet. Of course one would expect a creationist website to make a conclusion in regards to the fossil but it is only posed as a "better explanation". In creationism, questioning the "origin" of the Creator is nonsense because such a creator had no beginning and not to mention that apologetics has defended the biblical stance at great lengths. When this is in regards to intelligent design only, then it would be understandable but the Bible itself is falsifiable through it's history, science, prophecies etc. Are you assuming methodological naturalism as true here? The question arises, when is it good to link to a creationist website? Evolutionists often make conclusions but some of them rarely don't and this applies to some creationists. I mean, can't we assess both of the different conclusions? Many will probably find the evolutionist explanation as more reasonable but the article isn't unreasonable right? Or is it? --Macguysoft 20:05, 31 December 2006 (UTC)

I don't think there should be any creationist material in this article because, well, it's ignorant bullcrap. The creationists can rant all they like, but they simply aren't the experts. However, I think it would be perfectly reasonable to have a link to AIG or whatever along the lines of "this is the creationist take on the matter". (talk) 12:02, 20 November 2007 (UTC)snaxalotl

"A long snout suitable for catching prey on land"[edit]

In my opinion this is not how it should be described. It can make the false assumption that the animal was actually speciall adapted for hunting on land, which it wasn't. I corrected it, and then it was reverted again. The reason was "even mudfish can move about on land". What they is able to do does not necessary reflect their way of living. Even cats can cats and horses can move about in water, but that does not make them specially adapted for living in water. And even wolves can catch fish in the water if they are numerous enough on shallow water, but is doesn't turn them into aquatic animals or fishers. By writing "a long snout suitable for catching prey on land", it sounds like its main food source was of terrestrial origin and land the main hunting ground. Is there any sources that proves its jaws were espcially adapted to capture prey on land? What it possible to do and special adaptatiosn are often two very different things. (User:

For "prey" on land, let us remember that the largest "prey" on land at that point were millipede and scorpion ancestors. Such a large critter had to live on comparable-sized prey: fish? --Wetman 18:48, 16 April 2006 (UTC)
The anteater, measuring 4 feet (1.2 m) in length without the tail, and 2 feet (60 cm) in height at the shoulder, has prey consisting mainly of termites.
Ancient dragonflys had a wingspan of 70–75 cm (27.5–29.5 in). WAS 4.250 19:02, 16 April 2006 (UTC)
The anteater is very specialized to the insect diet, evolved from terrestrial animals and is only feeding on social insects where it can eat a large amount in each meal. It is correct that some of the arthropods was much bigger back then than they are today, but is there any evidence at all that Tiktaalik actually went on to land and hunted these creature for food? How would a large and aquatic fish be able to do this in such a degree that its snout actually became adapted to this lifestyle? Sorry, but without a single proof I'm not buying it. (User:
I was responding to Such a large critter had to live on comparable-sized prey: fish?. I demonstrated it did not have to. WAS 4.250 17:23, 17 April 2006 (UTC)
Its rows of sharp teeth suggest the size of Tiktaalik's prey. This critter was not filter-feeding on micro-organisms. Nor was it finding vertebrate prey ashore. --Wetman 03
41, 18 April 2006 (UTC)

The fish that hunts on land[edit]

Interesting related story at The fish that hunts on land. One of the articles on Tiktaalik (haven't had time lately to go through them to find it) discussed the crocodile-like jaw and eyes in the top of the head as suggesting the fish lurking on the bottom, then using its "legs" to help it spring up and snap at prey. I think the "long snout" term is a bit misleading, but it would be useful to include the point that the jaw shape suggests it may have had similar techniques to a croc or alligator, which could have included snapping at prey on land. As for teeth and size of prey, larger arthropods such as crabs as well as other fish could have been available on land, and salmon seem to have fair sized teeth but will jump at a midge. ...dave souza, talk 10:16, 18 April 2006 (UTC)

I don't think so. "Specimens found thus far range from 4 to 9 feet (1.2 to 2.75 meters) in length." How could an animal like this have based its diet on terrestrial invertebrates? Especially when it still had fins instead of legs? Because that's what is claimed; the jaws were adapted for terrestrial prey. To be able to hunt on land it would either has to be much smaller or a long, snake-like body or an anatomy of a terrestrial animal. The whole reason for this discussin is because the user Bcasterline added the part about catching prey on land in the article. And as far as I can see, he is not a biologist and don't mention any sources. If it doesn't show up any evidence, I think this part of the article should be removed. The suggestions so far is not good enough and is pure speculations.(User:
I don't think anyone should be arguing that this beast mainly fed on land, and going through the available information the hypothesis is that it was a shallow water specialist, with adaptions which could also allow it onto land. Possible prey at the time included the amphibious Eurypterids and perhaps slow moving Millipedes, though the latter seem to be land creatures. This is really speculation, unlike the properly sourced points in the article as currently revised. ...dave souza, talk 09:26, 21 April 2006 (UTC)

More Photos[edit]


There you go -- thanks lots for this. We probably don't need all these images so pick the ones you think will look best in the article. --Richard Clegg 23:19, 15 May 2006 (UTC)

Failed Good Article[edit]

Sorry, I had to fail this article on the grounds that it cannot yet be said to be stable. It was only started recently and one of the criteria for a good article is stability. I believe it is well written and well referenced. I am not enough of an expert to judge its factual accuracy I'm afraid. I also have concerns about the Fair Use justification on one image. I don't believe you can claim fair use merely because getting a good free image would be difficult. I believe the Science Museum London has an exhibit. I will try to get a shot when I am there at the start of May. --Richard Clegg 12:32, 18 April 2006 (UTC)

It has become much more stable over the last few days as the 'curent event' nature of th subject has died down and various edit wars have been resolved. Assuming that it retains its current stability, I think that it would a good candidate. If a high qaulity 'free' image can be obtained that would be great, though I find the free use argument persuasive, not that I am an expert in that field. Eluchil404 17:18, 19 April 2006 (UTC)

I have renominated the article as it has been stable for the last several weeks. The one Fair Use images remains. Eluchil404 12:10, 15 May 2006 (UTC)

OK -- I have some images from the science museum which I can add. Note that they are not as good as the image here but they are definitely copyright free images. --Richard Clegg 12:55, 15 May 2006 (UTC)
I believe the fair use claim is reasonable, but any properly free images would be better! Worldtraveller 12:56, 15 May 2006 (UTC)
I have added the images in question. Unfortunately, they are not of that good quality (I am not a photographer). The casts were in a brightly lit display box with a distracting blue background which I have removed using GIMP photo manipulation software. --Richard Clegg 14:40, 15 May 2006 (UTC)
Thanks for the very informative and useful images. Hope you don't mind, but I've tried tweaking the levels and contrast of the front view of the skull to bring it more into line with the pro photo: it's uploaded separately, so if it doesn't suit it will be easy to revert. ..dave souza, talk 16:03, 15 May 2006 (UTC)
No problem whatsoever. Indeed I am grateful you did so and it has certainly improved the image. If you wanted to start again with the raw photos I can upload them if you want. --Richard Clegg 16:12, 15 May 2006 (UTC)
Sounds worth a try., by raw I take it you mean unaltered .jpg format (I'm just an amateur here). Start with Image:Tskull1.jpg uploaded over your original, and I'll see how it goes. ...dave souza, talk 16:52, 15 May 2006 (UTC)
Cast of Tiktaalik skull (front view).
Cast of Tiktaalik skull (front view).

Two for you to try. I uploaded them elsewhere in case you couldn't improve them. --Richard Clegg 18:13, 15 May 2006 (UTC)

Thanks. I've got to cook tea now, will have a go asap. ..dave souza, talk 18:27, 15 May 2006 (UTC)

(images deleted as final version moved to commons dave souza, talk 08:34, 23 May 2006 (UTC)) Right, that's a shot at tweaking the second image, with the one done earlier for comparison. The earlier image seemed to be at twice the size / resolution of the raw one, so the raw one has been resampled up to match. The results are largely more luck than judgement, see what you think. ..dave souza, talk 20:32, 15 May 2006 (UTC)

Looks like an improvement to me. Let me know and I will put up the leg and rear view of skull shots. Thanks loads. You've really improved on my dodgy camera work. --Richard Clegg 20:45, 15 May 2006 (UTC)
Glad that suits. Go ahead and I'll try to improve them over the next day or so. ..dave souza, talk 22:18, 15 May 2006 (UTC)
(Watching genuine competence in operation is always a treat. :) --Wetman 08:52, 16 May 2006 (UTC))

(images deleted as originals moved to commons dave souza, talk 08:34, 23 May 2006 (UTC)) Ok, that's my attempt. Guessing where the jaw line was in the shadow was tricky, so I've tried to get it right and left a bit more of the shadow showing: it's pretty easy now to adjust darkness of the skull or shadow if desired. The captions show which way I think the limbs are: someone with expertise could review the labels. It's my opinion that all the photos are useful to get an impression in the round: if not appropriate in the text, some could go in an image gallery at the bottom of the article. ..dave souza, talk 16:37, 16 May 2006 (UTC)

Brilliant! They look absolutely great and should certainly be used in the main aritcle! Question is how to place them so as not to cause image pile up. --Richard Clegg 16:42, 16 May 2006 (UTC)


We should have a picture of the Creature From the Black Lagoon on here. Scorpionman 02:03, 23 May 2006 (UTC)

Awwww the nice! ..dave souza, talk 08:57, 23 May 2006 (UTC)

Yes...gentlemen, we have the missing link between land animals and fish! Although now we wish we hadn't...Scorpionman 20:56, 29 May 2006 (UTC)

Images revised[edit]

Tiktaalik fossil

The revamped images have now been moved to a new commons category, so I've deleted the originals. I've revised the article to link to the new images and to remove this dubious fair use and probable copyvio. It shows the ribs nicely, but if anyone's pining for that I could do a diagrammatic drawing with the same info. For some bizarre reason, perhaps the curse of the Creature From the Black Lagoon, the automatic indexing seems to have stopped working to this article alone, even using a previous version: it may be my browser, or if not can some expert please fix it. Otherwise things looking better, IMHO ...dave souza, talk 08:57, 23 May 2006 (UTC)


Would I be correct in thinking that its species name rosea was derived from the fossils' pinkish colour? Vitriol 18:11, 10 September 2006 (UTC)

The press release at Reference 5 (doc) says "Instead of using the traditional Latin or Greek to name the fossil, the team consulted Nunavut residents, who suggested Tiktaalik (tic-TA-lick), the Inuktikuk word for large, shallow water fish. The second part of the name, roseae, honors an anonymous supporter. Other funding came from the National Science Foundation, National Geographic Society and the researchers’ home institutions." A few other fishy things have rosea in their names, iirc. ...dave souza, talk 08:42, 11 September 2006 (UTC)

Fishapod sequence and nostrils[edit]

Some kind person rearranged the fishapod caption on other species to put Eusthenopteron first, and from checking the articles and googling a bit that seems to be correct: Eusthenopteron apparently was pelagic, while its roughly contemporary Panderichthys had shallow water adaptations. On that basis I've altered the illustration, and brought the caption here into line.

Someone else added a nostril-like caption to the first fossil pic: to me, nostrils implies the snout, but the only holes I can see are the spiracle openings behind the eyes, so I've changed the caption. ....dave souza, talk 08:12, 21 September 2006 (UTC)

My tweaks[edit]

...were all made in the interests of improved clarity, not to intrude any new information. I shifted forward the sentence introducing the discoverers so that they are introduced before they are quoted. Rationale of other edits should be self-evident. --Wetman 07:57, 21 September 2006 (UTC)


The Scientific American article referenced (currently #2) seems quite putative concerning the oxygen-poor status of the water. Is this the only source to quote for this idea? Dan Watts 13:45, 10 November 2006 (UTC)

More sources welcome, of course, but Jennifer A. Clack is a noted specialist in this particular area. ... dave souza, talk 15:50, 10 November 2006 (UTC)
Her expertise in tetrapods is impeccable. The question of water oxygen content is not addressed in her wikipage. Dan Watts 17:32, 10 November 2006 (UTC)

Cutest Late Devonian so far (actually just discussing teeth).[edit]

I vote it's the cutest looking Late Devonian vertebrate with that teethfilled grin but I noticed the NPR ( says that "...The well-preserved specimen indicates rows of sharp teeth". Thats more shark then croc to me (which is relevant as the wiki article mentions crocs but not sharks and yet "...the first fish with jaws, the acanthodians, or spiny sharks..." is whats said in Prehistoric_fish so it is relevant to say shark but I can't as that would be WP:OR. Until then is it Ok to just reword the teeth bit from "It had the sharp teeth of a predator,..." to "It has rows of sharp teeth of a predator fish,...". I feel I can't add the words "like a shark" without it being WP:OR as I can't find a link that mentions this similarity to sharks. I guess I can say fish as it swam in the sea. Ttiotsw 00:55, 18 November 2006 (UTC)

Be bold - I've edited it myself as per suggestion above. Used fancy cite web ref. Ttiotsw 20:55, 27 November 2006 (UTC)
Rows could refer to the top and bottom rows. (talk) 06:48, 26 November 2008 (UTC)

Units of Measurement[edit]

In the sentence "The incomplete specimens found thus far suggest animals that ranged from 4 to 9 feet (1.2 to 2.75 meters) in length", imperial units are given first with metric in parenthesis. I'd like to suggest it should be the other way around, mostly because this is a science article and also because the specimen was discovered in a country that uses the metric system. Normally I'd be bold and just change it, but it looks like a lot of editors are active on this article so I thought I'd run it by the talk page first. thx1138 08:37, 21 March 2007 (UTC)

I would support swapping around the units from Imperial to SI. Also would do Acanthostega. I'm fairly confident that people would be measuring and recording metric as the "certain" measurement and then converting to imperial for the press releases etc but be nice to have this confirmed. Ttiotsw 09:04, 21 March 2007 (UTC)
I went ahead and did it. thx1138 10:08, 21 March 2007 (UTC)

Possible Images[edit]

I read the new scientist article on Tiktaalik when it came out and there was a lovely image showing an artists-impression of tiktaalik in a chart with other sea-land animal fossils. If I can find it and get permission, would this be a worthy addition to this page? (Weenerbunny 23:22, 20 April 2007 (UTC))

Nature article[edit]

A new (as of this writing) article in Nature magazine indicates that the evolution of digits in this animal was more gradual than was previously supposed. The article might be amended to reflect this discovery. Samiyam318 14:59, 24 May 2007 (UTC)

Creationist Conspiracy[edit]

I logged in today to see a that most of the description had been deleted and instead contained some wacko's disertation on a huge conspiracy involving evolution, science, aliens, and jesus christ. I fixed it with my own, down to earth, layman desciption mostly pulled from a new scientist article. let me know if its any good, fix it up if you need to.Jimmyjones22 13:39, 19 August 2007 (UTC)

Wow, sounds really exciting but doesn't seem to match this edit, or have much to do with the previous edit. Have you, um, been getting messages from these aliens or whatever? .. dave souza, talk 15:34, 19 August 2007 (UTC)

I have but is was the Mesosaurus god of food and car cleaning, it said go thorth and wonererer. The article seens to be clear and consice now. Enlil Ninlil 20:42, 19 August 2007 (UTC)

Old problem - see here. This happened a month or so ago on 2nd July ! Ttiotsw 04:01, 20 August 2007 (UTC)
Thanks, that explains things – it was this edit that removed stuff about Tiktaalik being a mosaic creature – ole Moses sure got around... dave souza, talk 07:59, 20 August 2007 (UTC)
Sorry for the confusion, I made this post in july, but i only recently signed it (while browing I discovered that I forgot to sign and corrected it.) Jimmyjones22 22:42, 4 September 2007 (UTC)
The information isnt bad, pitty for the whacked out god crap. Enlil Ninlil 09:25, 12 September 2007 (UTC)


I LOVE going from a stumbleupon-fed christian/creationist website making ridiculous claims such as "no transient fossils have ever been recovered, praise Jesus" to an article about a transition species. Seriously, if you have stumbleupon on your Firefox edit your interests and whack in some of the religions, it's FANTASTIC what they come up with. And no to whoever said creationist ideas should be put on this page... If we put the creationist view of a species on this page, soon enough EVERY SINGLE PAGE ON BIOLOGY and/or EVERY SPECIES would have a section titles: Creationist View: Creationists believe this species was created 6,000 years ago by God." And who wants that repeated millions of times?

Let me rephrase that... Who in their right mind? -- Healyhatman

P.S. to those saying creationist views need to be considered in such articles... If you look under the edit box you're typing in, you see the words "Content that violates any copyright will be deleted. Encyclopedic content must be verifiable. You agree to license your contributions under the GFDL*."

Pay SPECIAL ATTENTION to "verifiable" and then go out and verify the existence of your creator, along with verifying that the Earth is 6,000 years old if you're a YE Creationist.—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 19:43, 24 December 2007

That is funny and true, no verification, no imput. Enlil Ninlil (talk) 22:30, 24 December 2007 (UTC)
Best talkpage comment I've read this week. --Relata refero (disp.) 08:30, 6 April 2008 (UTC)

there is more to this story[edit]

Ok for startes I know just enought to be dangerous :-) I recall watching a program about the discovery and the story was something like they predicted if A then B therefore there must be a C, and when they dug and they dug they finally found C, right where they thought they would. The article as is seems to suggest a scientist was walking around and out jumped this transitional fossil from nowhere. The essence was evolutionary theory predicted we should find an animal around this time period and in this specific region that have transitional features. That kind of scietific prediction was amazing to say the least and I don't think the article (which is very good) captures the history and back ground as well as it could. Just my unsolicited $.02 Midnight Gardener (talk) 22:02, 15 May 2008 (UTC)

The rear fins and tail have not yet been found.[edit]

If you think that this is unlikely to happen, please give a reference, otherwise this is POV. Does anyone really think that Tiktaalik was an animal without fins and tail, or is there some reason that they woud not be fossilized, or what? TomS TDotO (talk) 12:18, 10 January 2010 (UTC)

The sentence as I left it said "The rear fins and tail have not been found" which is entirely accurate. Please do not declare edits to be violating NPOV when they blatently do not.
Of course Tiktaalik had rear fins and a tail. But the specimen found was incomplete, as most fossils are. There's some possibility that new, more complete, specimens will be found.
Now, the word "yet" implies a high likelihood that they will be found. Omitting "yet" implies nothing one way or the other. Omitting it seems the winner. But how about "were not found", which says something about the past and implies nothing about the future? Evercat (talk) 14:00, 10 January 2010 (UTC)
Not specific enough, and leaves a built in glitch if there's another discovery. Changed it to "The fossil discovered in 2004 did not include the rear fins and tail." dave souza, talk 14:10, 10 January 2010 (UTC)
OK. Evercat (talk) 14:16, 10 January 2010 (UTC)

GA Reassessment[edit]

This discussion is transcluded from Talk:Tiktaalik/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the reassessment.

GA review – see WP:WIAGA for criteria

This review is part of Wikipedia:WikiProject Good articles/Project quality task force/Sweeps, a project devoted to re-reviewing Good Articles listed before August 26, 2007.

  1. Is it reasonably well written?
    A. Prose quality:
    B. MoS compliance:
    Introduction is a little sparse, but for such a short article, I see no problem with it.
  2. Is it factually accurate and verifiable?
    A. References to sources:
    B. Citation of reliable sources where necessary:
    C. No original research:
  3. Is it broad in its coverage?
    A. Major aspects:
    B. Focused:
  4. Is it neutral?
    Fair representation without bias:
  5. Is it stable?
    No edit wars, etc:
  6. Does it contain images to illustrate the topic?
    A. Images are copyright tagged, and non-free images have fair use rationales:
    B. Images are provided where possible and appropriate, with suitable captions:
  7. Overall:
    Pass or Fail:
    Article is well-sourced and well-written. Article kept. --ErgoSumtalktrib 22:39, 19 July 2009 (UTC)
    Hooray! bd2412 T 23:00, 19 July 2009 (UTC)

Niedzwiedzki 2010[edit]

With Tiktaalik being the most important of the fish-tetrapod sequence, we might have to mention the somewhat irritating discovery of apparent tetrapod tracks in sediments 397 years old... Niedzwiedzki et al (2010) Tetrapod trackways from the early Middle Devonian period of Poland. Nature 463(7277): 43-48. Evercat (talk) 14:22, 10 January 2010 (UTC)

It's not "irritating" -- it just indicates that the fossils we have of Tiktaalik aren't the earliest tetrapods. How long did the Tiktaalik taxon persist? Anyway, now covered in the article. Agathman (talk) 02:25, 26 January 2010 (UTC)

It's moderately irritating. One needs a fairly nuanced understanding of what a transitional fossil actually is to grasp how a 375 m.y. old fossil can represent a 400 m.y. old evolutionary transition. (I substantially wrote the paragraph that covers this, btw.) Evercat (talk) 18:22, 26 January 2010 (UTC)

Okay, I guess we can have different standards of irritability. ;-) Clearly some people who keep trying to edit the article to say that find "proves" Tiktaalik can't be transitional are failing to grasp those nuances. Agathman (talk) 00:39, 27 January 2010 (UTC)
Irritating or not, the Polish tracks have to be explained and either fall within theory or the theory needs modification. It will either end with the trackway being corrected in time or shown to be a forgery, or the biological sequence being adjusted, and the latter is the more exciting, IMHO. Look upon it as an opportunity. SkoreKeep (talk) 04:12, 28 September 2013 (UTC)
Continuing the irritation. Some of the technical points in this article ( and further discussion relating to a Texas find here - escape me, but doesn't this say that there are tetrapod footprints in Permian layers in the Grand Canyon - more than a 130 My before Tiktaalik? If this is true, I guess one can continue to claim that its a "missing link", but if its older than the oldest fossils found of its predecessor how is this possible? Happy to be wrong since I'm just an engineer - just raising the question since I saw this thread discussion. Thanks - Ckruschke (talk) 12:28, 4 February 2014 (UTC)Ckruschke

Some corrections[edit]

I tried to reduce the occurences of formulas like "transition form" and "fish". We need to be scientifically accurate. Tiktaalik shows us an unique combination of characters, which make it closer to Tetrapods than to any other Vertebrate known. Calling it a "fish" is inaccurate, because a "fish" means nothing in evolutionary science. I agree that we also need to be understandable for non-specialists users, so putting the word into "" appears to be a good compromise. Besides, using "transitional form" implies that there is a intrinsic difference between a "fish" and a tetrapod, which is not the case. Using grades like "fish", "amphibians" (if you're not talking on Lissamphibia) and "reptiles" is no longer accepted in evolutionary sciences. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Naldo 911 (talkcontribs) 22:45, 21 November 2010 (UTC)

Genus ?![edit]

Why is Tiktaalik treated in this article as a genus and not as a species ? There's only one species known, Tiktaalik rosae. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Stefan Udrea (talkcontribs) 06:22, 24 April 2011 (UTC)

According to standard biological nomenclature, Tiktaalik is the genus, and rosaea is the species. In phylogenetics, the two words describe a species and a clade. The species name represents a real animal, the clade name represents a morphological/genetic form possibly represented by a known species. SkoreKeep (talk) 04:19, 28 September 2013 (UTC)


"developing adaptations to the oxygen-poor shallow-water habitats of its time" while the reference cited says

If so, the changes to the skeleton described here may have given early tetrapods access to waters that sharks and other large fish could not reach ....

The reference doesn't sound as solid as the words in the article do. Original research? Dan Watts (talk) 01:28, 5 September 2011 (UTC)

Wrong part of the cited reference, which states "many more fossils documenting this transformation have come to light. These discoveries have expanded almost exponentially our understanding of this critical chapter in the history of life on earth" and

Thanks to these recent finds and analyses, we now have the remains of nine genera documenting around 20 million years of early tetrapod evolution and an even clearer idea of how the rest of the vertebrate body became adapted for life on land. One of the most interesting revelations to emerge from this work is that, as in the case of limb development, many of the critical innovations arose while these beasts were still largely aquatic. And the first changes appear to have been related not to locomotion but to an increased reliance on breathing air.

Clack goes on to state that their skull shape "suggests that these creatures were shallow-water specialists", and the combination of leaf fall and warm shallow waters led to air breathing. Similarly, Downs states here that "we see that cranial features once associated with land-living animals were first adaptations for life in shallow water.' . . dave souza, talk 14:51, 6 September 2011 (UTC)

Tiktaalik restoration image:[edit]

Life restoration of Tiktaalik roseae made for the National Science Foundation

I'm removing the image temporarily. Another user has alerted me in a peer review of the transitional fossils article that the image might not be accurate.

Comment: I may have time to offer a thorough review soon, but just glancing over the page, I ask that you replace the Tiktaalik roseae reconstruction immediately. The first tetrapods were solely aquatic, and any image that suggests that they came onto land is outdated. Yes, I know the textbooks still use these images, but paleontologists who study tetrapod evolution will tell you these illustration only perpetuate myths. If you want better images, I suggest putting in a request at Wikipedia:WikiProject Palaeontology/Paleoart review. – VisionHolder « talk » 03:25, 23 February 2012 (UTC)

--Harizotoh9 (talk) 03:36, 23 February 2012 (UTC)

We have this work in progress that was never finished, is it good enough to use? FunkMonk (talk) 13:45, 22 August 2013 (UTC)
  • Didn't newer remains indicate that it could move on land anyway? Making these restorations accurate again? FunkMonk (talk) 11:46, 1 November 2014 (UTC)
Just popping in to say I'm so sorry I was too lazy to finish the restoration. >.< I've lost the source files now, so I can't. But if you guys want to, feel free to overpaint the 3d render if you can do that.-- OBSIDIANSOUL 01:46, 2 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Seems recent research indicates it did this after all, so readded it. FunkMon:k (talk) 13:33, 13 December 2014 (UTC)
The perspective in this image looks kinda wonky. The water line around the body looks vertical, like it's emerging from a portal. Dinoguy2 (talk) 13:50, 13 December 2014 (UTC)
Muzeum Ewolucji PAN - Tiktaalik.JPG
That's right. How about this one? FunkMonk (talk) 13:56, 13 December 2014 (UTC)

Tiktaalik in Nunavut - "large freshwater fish" or "Burbot"?[edit]

In Chapter One of Neil Shubhin's book, "Your Inner Fish", it has been mentioned that the word "Tiktaalik" meant "large freshwater fish". The meaning of Tiktaalik as "Burbot" is sourced to the Nunavut Living Dictionary and I'm not sure whether this meaning is attributed as a result of OR by the contributor. Perhaps the word "Tiktaalik" has a general meaning of "large freshwater fish", with specific meaning of "burbot". In any case, the Shubhin book is a specific ref to the naming of the fish & its purported meaning, while the Living Dictionary reference is to the word in general. Can any one shed light on what's more appropriate? I think the Shubhin ref needs to be incorporated rather than the Dictionary one. AshLin (talk) 10:14, 22 August 2013 (UTC)

"... the Polish trackways, which do not have digital impressions..." ???[edit]

This statement from the "Classification_and_evolution" part is very misleading as it implies that all trackways from Zachełmie Quarry lack digital impressions, which is false. The whole paragraph looks a bit biased as it casts some doubts on the importance of the discovery ("Putative tetrapod footprints...", "If this is a true tetrapod record...") and suggests that the trakcs "were made by walking fish" (which is what Neil Shubin has implied to defend Tiktaalik's position it gained in 2006) without stating 4 important facts: 1) some footprints feature unambiguous digits, 2) animals that left them had fully tetrapod limbs capable of supporting their body weight as no tail drag prints are visible, 3) many of those animals walked in a quadrupedal manner (shown by footprints' distribution), 4) they were originally assumed to have been possibly made by Ichthyostega or a similar animal, but it was shown in 2012 (based on a 3d model) that Ichthyostega was incapable of quadrupedal movements (which is important as it is placed fairly close on most evolution trees to Tiktaalik). Most people who are into the subject are well familiar with those facts, but it is not them, who this article has been written for, right? So, imho, some words of clarification would be much welcome. Sceptic view (talk) 18:47, 9 December 2013 (UTC)

Pelvic girdle and hind fin found[edit]

Read here:
Pelvic girdle and fin of Tiktaalik roseae
It means that some of the above mentioned problems are actually solved. The hind leg seems to be powerful enough so that Tiktaalik was actually moved by it, instead of dragging itself by its front legs/finlobes. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Kunadam (talkcontribs) 18:37, 17 January 2014 (UTC)

Fossil Timeline Inconsistencies[edit]

Seems to be a little bit of a POV conflict with an anon editor on the recent insertion of a "Fossil Timeline Inconsistencies" section. I don't know anything about the subject matter, but the sources seem to be of a NPOV nature so I'm not sure what the issue is. Just thought I'd start the thread and allow the anon's to comment. Ckruschke (talk) 17:12, 12 February 2014 (UTC)Ckruschke

Removed again. The Polish fossil may change things here, but we need sources discussing the differences - not newsbits, glaring errors (radiocarbon impossibility: "395 million years old") and unsourced quotes. The newsblurbs are interesting, but what do the peer reviewed articles say re: the "inconsistencies"? Vsmith (talk) 01:36, 16 February 2014 (UTC)

WP:POV issues[edit]

This might be somehow related to the section above (Timeline inconsistencies). The main thing is the article looks fairly biased at this point with Ahlberg's findings presented in a denigrated way:

Putative tetrapod footprints found in Poland and reported in Nature in January 2010 were "securely dated" at 10 million years older than the oldest known elpistostegids.[19] If this is a true tetrapod record, Tiktaalik was a "late-surviving relic" rather than the original transitional form. An alternative interpretation is that the Polish trackways, which do not have digital impressions, were made by walking fish

1) Current phylogenetic position is not mentioned. I suggest:

  • adding a new section Phylogenetic position containing conclusions reached in 2006-2010 and a subsequent change based on Ahlberg et al.
  • Rewrite and move the above quoted paragraph to the new section

2) Ahlberg didn't say the footprints were putative. I suggest:

  • removing the word putative;
  • replace the phrase If this is a true tetrapod record, with In the view of those more recent findings
  • if anyone has challenged Ahlberg's claims feel free to add a phrase Some experts have challenged Ahlberg's conclusions (or something of the kind) accompanied by a reliable source reference

3) The footprints were dated based on a conodont study by Ahlberg's coauthors. I suggest:

  • removing quotes from the securely dated phrase and add info on details + reliable source (including 2014 results redating it to 391mya which redating influences other subsequent periods as well as stated in the source)
  • update dating of Tiktaalik (+ source) and present the time gap directly between the two finds (i.e. Zachelmie tracks vs. Tiktaalik and not Zachelmie vs. whatever/elpistostegids)

4) An alternative interpretation is that the Polish trackways, which do not have digital impressions, were made by walking fish - This crap needs clarification so I suggest adding a short summary of Zachelmie trackways:

  • no body/tail drag marks (body weight fully supported)
  • unambiguous marks of 5-digit limbs (reinterpreted in the source as 7 digits as in Ichthyostega) in some of the tracks
  • animal who left the footprints walked in a quadrupedal manner
  • info on the 2013 study which showed that Ichthyostega could not have possibly made those trackways

(see Talk:Tiktaalik#"... the Polish trackways, which do not have digital impressions..." ??? above)

5) Make a very short list of other Devonian fish which shared some unique features with tetrapods which in turn are missing in Tiktaalik (to:

  • show that in that period there were a number of funny fish and features found in some species are really stunning
  • show that Tiktaalik demands a special attention but its phylogenetic position is still a matter of debate and the issue is by no means clear and settled

Shubin did a great job, but so did Ahlberg, yet at present Zachelmie trackways are really donwplayed in the article. Sceptic view (talk) 11:30, 17 December 2014 (UTC)

Looks good, but we should be careful not to end up with original synthesis/research. Sources that do not mention this genus should not be used to make "conclusion" about it. A similar point was also made by VSmith in the section you mentioned: we should not go beyond what the available literature actually says. FunkMonk (talk) 11:33, 17 December 2014 (UTC)

Dorsally placed eyes edit[edit]

The language "dorsally placed eyes" seems to more commonly refer to the eyes of creatures like frogs, whose eyes in fact extend past the top of the head/body, and creatures like Tiktaalik whose eyes are in fact directly on the top of the skull. The idea that gar have "dorsally placed eyes" is a strong opinion, pictures of gar in profile reveal eyes placed almost exactly along the midline of the side of the body.

Explaining revert[edit]

To explain my revert of the good-faith edit. I think that the pronunciation is appropriate because of the rare use of double-a, and because the accent is not obvious. I removed the species name because "Tiktaalik roseae" is not a genus, while the species name is mentioned prominently in the box and elsewhere in the article. TomS TDotO (talk) 16:18, 27 November 2015 (UTC)

Zachelmie tracks not tetrapod tracks[edit]

I think this article and should be rewritten because Zachelmie tracks are not tetrapod tracks.

1) age of Zachelmie tracks is younger: 391-390 Ma ( and

and most important 2)

Re-interpreting the Zachelmie structures as Piscichnus instead of tetrapod tracks is well supported by their morphology, distribution and facies association. Furthermore, the original case for interpreting them as tetrapod tracks failed to meet the diagnostic criteria outlined here. 'The conclusion that an undiscovered lineage of surprisingly large Middle Devonian tetrapods lived in and around a shallow marine lagoon based on the Zachelmie quarry structures (Niedzwiedzki et al., 2010; Narkiewicz and Retallack, 2014; Narkiewicz et al., 2015) should be abandoned'.

Another interesting and relevant article about tetrapod evolution: — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:26, 9 March 2017 (UTC)


Hi, although this page is a good article, it is not clearly mentioned the size of this animal (only evoked in the section "2010 - now"). I found that the specimens varied between 1.2 and 2.5 m (I do not have the source anymore). This would mean that it was the largest of the Stegocephalia (another large species, Crassigyrinus, reached 2 m) but not of the Eotetrapodiformes (Edenopteron, Eusthenodon and Hyneria equaled or exceeded in size Tiktaalik). --Ellicrum (talk) 01:37, 5 October 2017 (UTC)