Rare fish with "hands" are the true missing link

Found off the coast of Tasmania and Australia, the rare handfish are solitary, slow-moving creatures. They use their fins to walk on the seafloor, rather than swimming. This is how our ancestors might have looked, before emerging from the sea.

National Geographic has a series of articles on these fish, which are spotted so infrequently that it's been hard for scientists to study them. There are only 14 species of handfish, and they lay very few eggs. Most are endangered.

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They eat by wandering very slowly across the seafloor, eating worms and crustaceans. Though they make an easy target for predators, they manage to escape being eaten because they have extremely toxic skin.

via National Geographic (thanks, Marilyn Terrell!)

Illustration for article titled Rare fish with hands are the true missing link
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Illustration for article titled Rare fish with hands are the true missing link
Illustration for article titled Rare fish with hands are the true missing link
Illustration for article titled Rare fish with hands are the true missing link

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DISCUSSION

A subtle but important point about natural selection- Handfish aren't our ancestors although, like chimpanzees, gorillas, and orangutans we do share a common ancestor.