Photo: Ancient Amphibians Bit Instead of Sucking, Skull Study Says



An early amphibian called Acanthostega appears to be crawling from the water in this reconstruction of a fossil specimen found by Cambridge University paleontologist Jenny Clack. Acanthostega is a tetrapod, the evolutionary ancestors of all land animals with backbones.

New analysis of tetrapod skulls shows that biting instead of sucking—a key evolutionary step toward life on land—evolved while the creatures were still largely aquatic.

Photograph by Jonathan Blair/NGS


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