Expanded Eyesight, Not Limbs, Led Fish Onto Land 385 Millions Years Ago According to New Research by Professor Lars Schmitz
CLAREMONT, California - March 13, 2017
Professor Lars Schmitz’ research on the role of expanded eyesight on the evolution of fish was characterized in a clever, three-minute animation.
New research by Assistant Professor of Biology Lars Schmitz suggests that a near tripling of eye size might be what triggered fish about 385 million years ago to make the evolutionary leap from water to land. Schmitz and Professor Malcolm MacIver of Northwestern University and their team’s study, “Massive Increase in Visual Range Preceded the Origin of Terrestrial Vertebrates,” was published recently in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Larger eyes looking farther, and above water, to a larger range of unexploited prey may have been key in driving crocodile-like fish to evolve into the first vertebrates on land. The publication is accompanied by a three-minute animation that presents their findings with humor and clarity.