Missing links and found links

Pat Shipman

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle


Found links are fossils that illustrate major transitions during evolutionary history. Archaeopteryx is a found link because the anatomy of this extraordinary species reveals how creatures evolved from propelling themselves along solid substrates. Another found link is the fossil skeleton of Tiktaalik roseae. Its skeleton differs markedly from those of crocodiles or alligators despite the overall resemblance in body shape. Pakicetus is a 50-million-year-old species with whalelike teeth and a whalelike skull. The fossil whale Dorudon has had a less mobile neck, front legs modified into flippers, vestigial hind legs and a powerful whale tail. The discovery of a missing link is not only a cause for celebration but also a cause for more and deeper studies. These found links form a stony edifice in support of evolutionary theory.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Number of pages3
Specialist publicationAmerican Scientist
StatePublished - 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


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