The evolution from fish to land dwelling tetrapods required many changes in anatomy and physiology, most importantly the legs and their supporting structure, the girdles. Well preserved fossils of Panderichthys clearly show these structures in transition, making Panderichthys a rare and important find in the history of life.
“Clearly in transition”. That sounds a really good story. Here are some more amazing insights from that entry into the importance of Panderichthys:
Fish like Panderichthys were the ancestors of the first tetrapods, air-breathing, terrestrial animals from which the land vertebrates, including humans, are descended.
The Polish footprints mean that, in the evolutionary paradigm, Panderichthys is no longer “important”. The supposed evolutionary transition had already occurred. Panderichthys is not an ancestor of the air-breathing terrestrial animals. It’s an evolutionary dead-end. How things change.
That Wiki entry, like the Tiktaalik one, is another that needs a major makeover. What a job it will be trying to battle out a revised article on Wikipedia against all those who won’t want it to change. No wonder no-one has mentioned the footprint find, even after it has been in the news for nearly three weeks.
Update 7 February 2010: Still not a word on the Polish tetrapod footprints on Panderichthys on Wiki. It’s over a month now.