By Natural Philosopher Mike Prestwood
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Timeline Story

Long-Term Memory Evolves: Tiktaalik

Long-Term Memory Evolves: Tiktaalik

From Year 0 (BCE/CE): -375000000
Post Date: 04/04/2024

By about 375 million years ago, the foundations for long-term memory were likely established among the more complex vertebrates, facilitating survival in increasingly varied and challenging environments.

Fishapod: Tiktaalik (circa 375 Mya), a prime example of this evolutionary milestone, is an extraordinary creature that bridged the gap between aquatic fish and amphibians. With its forward-facing eyes—an adaptation indicative of its predatory lifestyle—Tiktaalik navigated both the waters and the emerging land habitats. This semi-aquatic way of life, combining elements of both aquatic and terrestrial existence, would have necessitated the use of long-term memory for tasks such as remembering the locations of feeding sites, water bodies, and safe paths between them. Tiktaalik‘s anatomical adaptations, including limbs capable of supporting its weight on land, suggest a complex lifestyle that likely benefited from the development of long-term memory, enabling it to exploit the resources of both realms effectively.

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