Transitional fossils

The latest issue of the free online journal, Evolution: Education & Outreach, highlights transitional fossils.  There are several good articles here: I especially liked Jenny Clack’s piece on the fish-to-reptile transition, which is now documented by many more fossils than just the famous Tiktaalik, and Thewissen et al.’s article on the evolution of whales from terrestrial mammals. The articles have nice figures for teaching purposes. This is a great journal for laypeople and scientists alike to keep up with education in evolutionary biology, and it’s free.


  1. Matthew Cobb
    Posted June 7, 2009 at 10:47 am | Permalink

    This is a fantastic journal that I discovered only last year. Highly recommended to everyone. Browse through the past issues.

  2. Posted June 7, 2009 at 11:45 am | Permalink

    Of course, using Adsense ads on a site like that makes you susceptible to ads for creationist sites…

  3. Posted June 7, 2009 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

    Yes, those are beautiful, and the one tends to rectify the impression that was given in the media (including the PBS program about Kitzmiller) that Tiktaalik was the first known transition between fish and amphibian.

    It’s great to see that journal, because contrary to the frequent claims of creationists (including IDists), scientists are not trying to find evidence in favor of evolution at all, only looking for the “hows” of evolution. Thus, the many transitionals found tend not to be very well publicized (not counting Ida and Tiktaalik, of course), since scientists aren’t especially excited by still more evidence in favor of evolution.

    Here’s hoping that they fill the one really big gap–the tendency of evolutionary evidence to accumulate while the public remains largely ignorant of the enormity of the evidence for unplanned and undesigned evolution, and the absence of evidence for design.

    Glen Davidson

  4. Posted June 7, 2009 at 7:53 pm | Permalink

    I’ve never heard of that journal before, now I’ve got it bookmarked for future use.

  5. Karl Polivka
    Posted June 8, 2009 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

    Just picked up W.E.I.T. a couple weeks ago and just got around to your Fossils chapter last night. I skimmed the Dinosaur-Bird article in this journal this afternoon and was amused to see them call Archaeopteryx a “bird” whereas you refer to it as “reptile,” which only emphasizes its transitional status! But wait til the creationists jump on that one…

    Enjoying the book, btw. Hope all is well.

2 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. […] Jerry Coyne, a special issue of Evolution: Education and Outreach devoted to transitional fossils. As Coyne […]

  2. […] Thanks to Why evolution is true […]

%d bloggers like this: