Great Transitions: The Origin of Tetrapods
This film describes the discovery of Tiktaalik, a key fossil that illuminates the evolutionary origins of four-legged animals.
The Origin of Tetrapods provides a firsthand account of the search for Tiktaalik, a creature with a mix of features common to fish and four-legged animals. Tiktaalik, along with a series of species that existed before and after, illuminates key evolutionary steps in the transition of life from water to land.
The “Abbreviated Film Guide” provides a short summary of the film, along with key concepts and connections to curriculum standards.
An audio descriptive version of the film is available via our media player.
Charles Darwin, evolutionary transition, fossil, paleobiology, tetrapod, Tiktaalik, transitional fossil
Daeschler, Edward B., Neil H. Shubin, and Farish A. Jenkins Jr. “A Devonian tetrapod-like fish and the evolution of the tetrapod body plan.” Nature 440 (2006): 757–763. https://doi.org/10.1038/nature04639.
Accessibility Level (WCAG compliance)
AP Biology (2019)
EVO-1, EVO-2, EVO-3
IB Biology (2016)
5.1, 5.4, 10.3
AP Environmental Science (2020)
Topic(s): 2.6, 2.7
IB Environmental Systems and Societies (2017)
Vision and Change (2009)