Take a swim with some pre­his­toric fishes in this week’s Speaker Se­ries

The Drumheller Mail - - NEWS - Sub­mit­ted The Drumheller Mail Sub­mit­ted

The Royal Tyrrell Mu­seum Speaker Se­ries re­turns to its reg­u­lar sched­ule of Thurs­days at 11 a.m. start­ing March 30. This week’s pre­sen­ta­tion is by Con­rad Wil­son, re­search as­sis­tant, Univer­sity of Cal­gary, is en­ti­tled “The End-Devo­nian Mass Ex­tinc­tions and the Early Evo­lu­tion of the RayFinned Fishes.”

The actinoptery­gians, or ray-finned fishes, are a sub­stan­tial and sig­nif­i­cant com­po­nent of mod­ern ver­te­brate (an­i­mals with back­bones) di­ver­sity. Ray-finned fishes are bony and have paired fins that are sup­ported by rays (the acti­nosts) that in­sert di­rectly in the body. Ex­am­ples of mod­ern ray-finned fishes in­clude trout, eels, and bet­tas. De­spite their preva­lence to­day, the early evo­lu­tion of this group is poorly un­der­stood com­pared to other ma­jor groups, driven by a lack of in­for­ma­tive fos­sil data.

In his talk, Wil­son will ex­plain how re­cent work on Early Car­bonif­er­ous fos­sil sites from Nova Sco­tia and around the world pro­vide new in­sight into the evo­lu­tion of this group and how the devel­op­ment of the mod­ern ver­te­brates may have been in­flu­enced by the mass ex­tinc­tion at the end of the Devo­nian Pe­riod (419 – 359 mil­lion years ago).

The Royal Tyrrell Mu­seum’s Speaker Se­ries talks are free and open to the public. They are held ev­ery Thurs­day un­til April 27 at 11:00 a.m. in the Mu­seum au­di­to­rium. Past Speaker Se­ries talks are also avail­able on the Mu­seum’s YouTube chan­nel: youtube. com/ user/ Roy­alTyrrel­lMu­seum

Con­rad Wil­son, re­search as­sis­tant, from the Univer­sity of Cal­gary, is de­liv­er­ing this week’s Speaker Se­ries called, “The End-Devo­nian Mass Ex­tinc­tions and the Early Evo­lu­tion of the Ray-Finned Fishes.”

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