Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Ventastega curonica is believed to be an evolutionary dead end, but it's an important dead end. It is, as far as paleontologists know, the earliest four-legged animal to emrge on Earth. The fossil remains found in Latvia indicate it looked, as one paleontologist put it, like "a small alligator with a fin." The theory is that this is a creature of the shallows that found advantage in being able to haul itself over sandbars or perhaps even out of the water.