List of Transitional Fossils

List Of Transitional Fossils

This is a tentative list of transitional fossils (fossil remains of a creature that exhibits primitive traits in comparison with more derived organisms to which it is related). The fossils are listed in series, showing the transition from one group to another, representing significant steps in the evolution of major features in various lines. These changes often represent major changes in anatomy, related to mode of life, like the acquisition of feathered wings for an aerial lifestyle in birds, or legs in the fish/tetrapod transition. As noted already by Darwin, the fossil record is incomplete.

Ideally, this list would only recursively include 'true' transitionals, fossils representing ancestral species from which later groups evolved, but most if not all, of the fossils shown here represent extinct side branches, more or less closely related to the true ancestor. They will all include details unique to their own line as well. Fossils having relatively few such traits are termed "transitional", while those with a host of traits found neither in the ancestral or derived group are called "intermediate". Since all species will always be subject to natural selection, the very term "transitional fossil" is essentially a misconception. It is however a commonly used term and a useful concept in evolutionary biology. The fossils listed represent significant steps in the evolution of major features in various lines and therefore fit the common usage of the phrase.

Read more about List Of Transitional Fossils:  Nautiloids To Ammonoids, Cephalopods, Evolution of Insects, Evolution of Spiders, Invertebrates To Fish, Chondrichthyes, Bony Fish, Fish To Tetrapods, Amphibians To Amniotes (early Reptiles), Turtles, From Lizards To Snakes, Lizards, Pterosaurs, Archosaurs To Dinosaurs, Dinosauria, Dinosaurs To Birds, Bird Evolution, Synapsid ("mammal-like Reptiles") To Mammals, Evolution of Mammals, Early Artiodactylans To Whales (Evolution of Whales), Evolution of Sirenians, Evolution of The Pinnipeds, Evolution of The Horse, Human Evolution

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