About 350 million years ago, some of the earliest land animals crawled on 5-toed feet along a warm tropical beach, in what is now Nova Scotia. They left footprints, which were recently discovered by surprised scientists, who had thought it took animals much longer to adapt feet suitable to land.
Creatures first dragged themselves out of the seas about 370 million years ago, but their primitive feet were adaptations of fins, with 8 toes.
The Nova Scotia footprints, though, seem to be those of amphibians and reptiles well equipped for life on dry land. Some of them may even have been able to climb trees.
Dr. Spencer G. Lucas:":"They're not just walking on stubby toes. They've got claws. They've got long, thin fingers." Evolution, he says, appears to have been moving faster than scientists suspected.
Nona Williams: "Like most religious conservatives, the Ichthus fish failed to evolve and remains legless to this day."
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