RESOURCES: Fish Stories

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Science  17 Feb 2006:
Vol. 311, Issue 5763, pp. 925
DOI: 10.1126/science.311.5763.925a

With their ferocious dinosaurs and mass extinctions, the Jurassic and the Cretaceous periods attract plenty of attention. But there's a lot to like about the earlier, lesser known Devonian period. The “Age of Fishes” saw major changes in aquatic animals, including the evolution of lobe-finned and ray-finned fishes and the definitive emergence of sharks. To bone up on this epoch, which spanned from 410 million to 356 million years ago, check out Devonian Times.

Webmaster Dennis Murphy, a computer exhibit designer in Pennsylvania, began the newspaperlike site in 1997 with support from researchers at the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia. Visitors will find basic background on the plants, animals, and geology of the period. And for Devonian diehards, there is a Who's Who of fossil organisms from Red Hill, an important Devonian site in Pennsylvania. A new section describes a humerus found there (Science, 2 April 2004, p. 90). Paleontologists believe the arm bone belonged to a limbed fish that may have led the procession of animals transitioning from life in the sea to walking on the ground.

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