Ancient Theory Finally Supported | Science News Scotland

Research suggested that paired fins evolved from gills, but has since been widely discounted. Now researchers have found evidence to support the original hypothesis.

An update on research from Andrew Gillis, a Marine Biological Laboratory Whitman Center Scientist from the University of Cambridge, U.K. and an incoming MBL scientist.

Research suggested that paired fins evolved from gills, but has since been widely discounted. Now researchers have found evidence to support the original hypothesis.

A little skate (Leucoraja erinacea) hatchling (left) with a skeletal preparation of a little skate hatchling (right), with cartilage stained blue and mineralized tissues stained pink. Credit: Andrew Gillis

By Lewis Robertson

A Centuries old theory on the evolution of fins has now gained support by UK scientists. The theory first appeared in the late 1800s, suggested that paired fins evolved from gills, but has since been widely discounted. Researchers have found evidence to support the original hypothesis that has long been fiercely contested.

New research published today in eLife led by Dr. Victoria Sleight, now at the University of Aberdeen, alongside Dr. Andrew Gillis from the University of Cambridge supports the hypothesis from the 1800s.

By studying embryos of the skate, a cartilaginous fish closely related to sharks, Dr. Sleight and Dr. Gillis found that gill arches develop from both neural crest and mesodermal cells – what is known as dual origin. Read more…

Ancient theory finally supported | Science News Scotland