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Thread: Which came first: fish or birds?

  1. #1

    Default Which came first: fish or birds?

    Many readers here are more familiar with evolution than I am. Perhaps someone here can explain how we know that fish came before birds to me. Both are especially well evolved for their specific environment.

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeremiah View Post
    Many readers here are more familiar with evolution than I am. Perhaps someone here can explain how we know that fish came before birds to me. Both are especially well evolved for their specific environment.
    Unsure if serious post or not ...........


    Actually, I think you will find a space wizard made them at the same time, all hail the glorious space wizard.
    Last edited by JuliusSeizure; 10-Nov-2013 at 02:56. Reason: came to my senses

  3. #3

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    i dunno maybe because if birds would have come first thed have nothing to eat ?

    i expect someone to say something with factual evidence and prove me wrong but oh well lol.

  4. #4

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    had to be fish first. there was water long before there was sky.

  5. #5

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    Fish are thought to have first appeared 550 million years ago in the Cambrian period. It's thought that life began in the sea, so fish would have made an appearance long before birds. In fact, birds appear millions of years after the Cambrian period, during the Jurassic period, which is in the middle of the Mesozoic Era.

    These findings are based on the fossil record, carbon dating, the study of continental drift, erosion, and many other factors. Birds are a development that probably found their roots in reptiles, developing rudimentary wings. The present day birds have much in common with earlier reptiles.

    Present day sharks are closely related to early fish, and the Coelacanth still exists. Even the Sturgeon is a good example of the early boney fish.

  6. #6

  7. #7

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    Birds evolved from dinosaurs (reptiles). Reptiles evolved from amphibians. Amphibians evolved from fish.

    In reverse: fish predate amphibians which predate reptiles which predate birds.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ThatAndyGuy View Post
    Unsure if serious post or not ...........


    Actually, I think you will find a space wizard made them at the same time, all hail the glorious space wizard.
    I was thrilled when this thread wasn't started by a certain someone else. Hey, an actual question rather than a thinly-veiled effort to push non-scientific poppycock!

  8. #8

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    This is an honest question. I have seen charts with dates and read about fossil finds, but cannot understand how scientists arrived at those conclusions.



    Quote Originally Posted by dogboy View Post
    Fish are thought to have first appeared 550 million years ago in the Cambrian period. It's thought that life began in the sea, so fish would have made an appearance long before birds...


    Quote Originally Posted by AEsahaettr View Post
    Birds evolved from dinosaurs (reptiles). Reptiles evolved from amphibians. Amphibians evolved from fish.
    I have gone fishing and hunting. Both provide an opportunity to dissect the relevant species. Birds and fish are both internally optimized for altitude adjustments in their respective medium and have control surfaces specific to their environment. Reptiles are land based animals capable of swimming without control surfaces. How do we know fish, reptile, bird when I see more similarity between fish and birds?

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeremiah View Post
    I have gone fishing and hunting. Both provide an opportunity to dissect the relevant species. Birds and fish are both internally optimized for altitude adjustments in their respective medium and have control surfaces specific to their environment. Reptiles are land based animals capable of swimming without control surfaces. How do we know fish, reptile, bird when I see more similarity between fish and birds?
    Because you're looking at modern fish, not ancient fish. We know that amphibians came from fish, for example. But the fish they evolved from aren't the modern fish you catch when you go fishing. Some populations of fish that didn't evolve for an amphibious lifestyle continued to adapt for their aquatic environments. You need to go sequentially through the fossil record, not through animals you encounter in modern day (even though a few of those animals in the fossil record are still extant).

    For example, we have transitional fossils of fish to amphibians. We see fish developing lungs so they can breathe over gills and breathe air directly. We see fish developing fins that articulate more like hands. And so forth. The jump from amphibians to reptiles was less dramatic. Basically, there were a lot of niches open in the land-based world, and adaptations that repurposed the gills into other organs allowed amphibians to go purely land-based. Reptiles into birds is probably the best-known transition. We see a number of small predatory dinosaurs that began growing downy feathers, which initially were probably for warmth and signaling. Archaeoptryx is the best known, but there were more examples. In fact, remember in the beginning of Jurassic Park when the asshole kid says that the velociraptor reminds him of an overgrown turkey? That was an injoke for the scientists. Velociraptor was a Chinese dinosaur that was about the size of a turkey and covered in (presumably) bright feathers. The skeleton they were looking at, as well as the "velociraptors" that stalk the cast, were actually based on Utahraptor.

    Tell me if you'd like anything explained more in depth- I don't really have the time to explain everything at length but I'm more than willing to clarify individual points. Wikipedia also has very good pages discussing the evolution of birds and of reptiles that I'd encourage you to consider. Any explanation I give you is likely redundant with and not as developed as those two pages.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dogboy View Post
    carbon dating
    Carbon dating is only good for a few thousand years. It's useful for archaeology, but notsomuch for paleontology. There are other radiometric dating methods that paleontologists can make use of, though.

  10. #10

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    There are many factors which show us that fish came before birds. To give a couple:

    The fossil record (which is incomplete, befor we go down that particular rabbit hole again) shows that fish came first

    Evolutionary genetics indicates that other animals came from fishes. That is genetic material in marsupials, amphibians, mammals and birds etc can be found in common with fish indicating that fish diversified into the other forms rather than the other way round.

    The theory of evolution is built round the idea of increasing complexity. You start with something very simple and then it gradually evolves to get better at surviving. Therefore simpler animals almost always come earlier in the evolutionary tree. Life forms found in the sea even today can be much simpler than their counterparts on land e.g. the Jelly fish.

    Though to guard myself against possible criticism let me add this is not a full and complete argument and there are counter examples of animals, probably, going from sea to land to sea like whales however these are exceptional examples rather than the general rule.

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