It's almost 700 years, Jacob van Maerlant, a Dutch poet, imagined a fish ready to live on earth: his arms had sprung up to curl to the ground. Now, three genetic studies make your fantasy seem remarkably prophetic. Together, studies suggest that, in terms of genes, aquatic precursors of four-limb terrestrial animals, or terápods, were as well prepared as Dutch fantasy fish. They were pre-equipped with genes that could become members, efficient lungs to breathe air and nervous systems attuned to the challenges of life on the ground.
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