Fossilised footprints dating back 395m years have shed new light on the “evolutionary milestone” of the transition of aquatic fish into terrestrial animals. “The fossilised tracks of one of the first four-legged creatures to walk on land have been discovered in a disused quarry in southern Poland. The footprints date back 395 million years and are about 18 million years older than the oldest known ‘tetrapod’ fossil…The researchers have found several kinds of tracks made by animals of different sizes as they walked across the muddy floor of a marine lagoon, as well as individual footprints, some as large as 26cm wide, indicating a four-legged creature about 2.5m long. According to a report in the journal Nature, the tracks have distinctive ‘hand’ and ‘foot’ prints and are arranged in a diagonal sequence with no evidence of the body being dragged along the ground, showing that the animal walked by flexing its raised body much like a modern-day lizard.”
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