Scientists have discovered fossils of a 375 million-year-old fish, a large scaly creature not seen before, that they say is a long-sought "missing link" in the evolution of some fishes from water to a life walking on four limbs on land. In addition to confirming elements of a major transition in evolution, the fossils are widely seen by scientists as a powerful rebuttal to religious creationists, who hold a literal biblical view on the origins and development of life. Several well-preserved skeletons of the fossil fish were uncovered in sediments of former stream beds in the Canadian Arctic, 600 miles from the North Pole, it is being reported on Thursday in the journal Nature. The skeletons have the fins and scales and other attributes of a giant fish, four to nine feet long... ...The discovering scientists called the fossils the most compelling examples yet of an animal that was at the cusp of the fish-tetrapod transition. The fish has been named Tiktaalik roseae, at the suggestion of elders of Canada's Nunavut Territory. Tiktaalik (pronounced tic-TAH-lick) means "large shallow water fish."... ...Dr. Shubin, an evolutionary biologist, let himself go in an interview. "It's a really amazing remarkable intermediate fossil — it's like, holy cow," he enthused...
[how about holy mackerell!]
...In a statement by the Science Museum of London, where casts of the fossils will be on view, Dr. Clack said the fish "confirms everything we thought and also tells us about the order in which certain changes were made." ...While Dr. Shubin's team played down the fossil's significance in the raging debate over Darwinian theory, which is opposed mainly by some conservative Christians in the United States, other scientists were not so reticent. They said this should undercut the creationists' argument that there is no evidence in the fossil record of one kind of creature becoming another kind. One creationist Web site (emporium.turnpike.net/C/cs/evid1.htm) declares that "there are no transitional forms," adding: "For example, not a single fossil with part fins part feet has been found. And this is true between every major plant and animal kind." Dr. Novacek responded in an interview: "We've got Archaeopteryx, an early whale that lived on land and now this animal showing the transition from fish to tetrapod. What more do we need from the fossil record to show that the creationists are flatly wrong?"
uh, nothing Tiktaalik art above via Pharyngula