First Terrestrial Animals Shuffled Onto Land
The transition from swimming to walking involved some awkward first steps, according to a new study that recreated how one of the first animals, which left the sea for land, moved. The study found that that the fishy four-limbed animal Ichthyostega used its front limbs like crutches, pushing its body up and forward onto land while its legs and tail trailed behind. It lived in water near the shoreline when not on land. This was one small step for sea creatures but one big step for animal kind, because those early movements on land around 374-359 million years ago likely later evolved into walking, including human locomotion.