Fossil of most primitive 4-legged creature found

June 26, 2008 5:23:02 AM PDT
Scientists have unearthed a skull of the most primitive four-legged creature in Earth's history.

The discovery should help scientists better understand the evolution of fish to advanced animals that walk on land.

The 365-million-year-old fossil skull, shoulders and part of the pelvis of the water-dweller, Ventastega curonica.

The fossil was found in Latvia, according to a study published in the journal Nature.

Ventastega is likely an evolutionary dead-end, because scientists don't think that four-legged creatures are directly evolved from it. But the finding sheds new details on the evolutionary transition from fish to tetrapods, animals with four limbs.