More research has been done on * Cryptotora thamicola*, the first “walking fish” found with bone structure – and consequent gait – that approximates that of tetrapods on land[ (Shouldn’t the “cryptocora” not be in italics? That’s how it is in the article.)
[RIGHT]Tetrapod-like pelvic girdle in a walking cavefish
Brooke E. Flammang, Apinun Suvarnaraksha, Julie Markiewicz & Daphne Soares
Scientific Reports 6, Article number: 23711 (2016)
24 March 2016
Full article: http://www.nature.com/articles/srep23711#f6
I understand it’s not the missing link in the up from the sea to caveman progression. But just as I was thinking that I read this paragraph:
It is, however, crucial to note that Cryptotora is not an analogous representative of any early tetrapodamorph described to date. Description of the morphological attributes of early tetrapods that were instrumental in the fin to limb transition included the presence of zygapophyses and large neural spines on vertebrae and a pelvic girdle that was firlmly attached to the axial skeleton; Cryptotora convergently evolved these while no other fish has. However, Cryptotora obviously lacks digited appendages, which evolved before the pelvic girdle in the fin-to-limb transition.
Is it by an overwhelming preponderance of empirical evidence that the earlier evolution of digital appendages is the case for that statement, or is it “it has to come first” as an analytical issue in the biomechanics of tetrapod gait?