Tuesday, July 15, 2008

This lovely fish is in fact a new species.
The scientist have discovered a missing link in the evolution of bizarre flatfish.
ct scan of 50-million-year-old fossils have revealed an intermediate species between primitive flatfish ,they are the ones with both eyes on one side of their heads, and the 'modern' lopsided version (like this one) which includes flounder, sole and halibut.
The change has happened slowly over the years, in a way with evolution. It did not happen suddenly as some scientist think.
The gap between the two flatfish was because of an unknown animal which had a severe mutation that was passed down through the generations.
No-one knows why they have changed like this and some scientist are putting it down to 'intelligent design.'
For example, Lee James Best,Jr, wrote in his 2003 book about 'God and fallacy in the theory of evolution.
"As with aimless squeezing of wet clay, without a mold or other purposeful directed pressures," He wrote. "an intended end to a construction project would occur."
The new discovery, however, is unlikely to change the minds of many creationists.
Zoologist Frank Sherwin, science editor for the institute for Creation research, called the findings 'underwhelming'
"We do not deny that there is a minor variation that occurs within created groups or kinds." He Said. adding that he fails to see the new paper as evidence of a progression from one flatfish to another.
"Fish have always been fish,all the way down to the lower Cambrian." He says.
"We have no problem with the variation within flatfish. What we are asking is: "Show me how a fish came from a nonfish ancestor."
Some of the argument is that the asymmetrical eye configuration can easily be seen as intelligent, because it is advantageous to flatfish survival.
The eyes allows the flatfish to use both their eyes to look up when lying on the seafloor.
Paleontologist Matt Friedman, has been to the natural history museums all over the world to look at these flatfish and says:
"In more than one specimen, one side of the skull looked normal, but the other side of the head, the eye was moved up. "

It's possible that even the intermediate eye position would have provided an evolutionary advantage for the fish.
"Living flatfish don't lie completely flat on the sea floor, they prop themselves up with their fins".
More than 500 species of flatfishes now live in fresh and salt water.
They range in size from 4inches to 7 feet and can weigh up to 720 pounds.


Sage said...

I think flat fish are weird... I don't mind eating round fish like trout, salmon etc.. but not a fan of plaice and other flatties...

Perhaps its the way they look at me :-)

dickiebo said...

That looks just like Shelagh Maguire!

Anonymous said...

I worked with a bloke who just looked like that! We called him 'Dum-reppiks' as he was a backwards version...

Tony F