A human evolution video
listing and describing the ancestors of humans going back to Devonian tetrapods has been removed and updated to include recently added fish and chordates in our lineage going back to the Cambrian. Click to view this new 12:40 video on YouTube:
Gone are the more famous ‘transitional tetrapods’
Acanthostega and Ichthyostega. In their place are more direct transitional tetrapods, like Koilops and Trypanognathus. These taxa share more traits with their flat, small-lobed ancestors, Panderichthys and flat, small-limbed descendants, like Trimerorhachis, leading to frogs and reptiles… and ultimately mammals and humans.
Gone is the more famous ‘basal reptile’,
Hylonomus. In its place are the amphibian-like reptiles, Gephyrostegus and Silvanerpeton. The latter nests as the last common ancestors of all amniotes in the large reptile tree (LRT, 1691 taxa), the data source for the current list of human ancestors in the video.
All of this interest
in evolution and human ancestry stems from research during the production of the book From the Beginning (Peters 1991). Back then it took 36 discrete steps from DNA to Homo to tell our story. While unprecedented for its time, that story can now be told more accurately with the addition of 50 more taxa based on knowledge gained in the last nine years while working on and constantly improving ReptileEvolution.com.
Proviso: This nearly 30-year-old book includes both Ichthyostega and Hylonomus, so it is no longer up-to-date. That’s how science works, falsifying and building upon past hypotheses.