PHOTOS: 7 Major "Missing Links" Since Darwin

PHOTOS: 7 Major
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Amphistium: The Halfway Flatfish

Revealed in 2008, this 50-million-year-old fossil flatfish's eyes are not quite on opposite sides of its body but not quite in their modern asymmetrical arrangement, both on one side of the body (modern-flatfish picture). (See "Odd Fish Find Contradicts Intelligent-Design Argument" [July 9, 2008].)

Why it matters: The lack of transitional flatfish fossils—showing the eyes slowly "migrating" over generations—has been used to refute Darwin's theory of evolution. But "Amphistium and [fellow fossil flatfish] Heteronectes show that, whatever the selective pressures might have been, the asymmetrical flatfish head did evolve gradually," said Per Ahlberg, an evolutionary biologist at Uppsala University in Sweden.

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—Photograph courtesy University of Chicago Medical Center
 
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