In what would be a devastating blow to evolution-deniers–if evolution-deniers cared about things like scientific studies–Spanish scientist Fernando Casares and his colleagues were able to induce evolution in a zebrafish embryo inside their lab, having its fins morph into proto-limbs called autopods.
To get the little fish to evolve, the team injected it with the protein hoxd13 from a mouse, which is known to induce the growth of autopods. According to New Scientist, zebrafish already carry the protein in small quantities, which, coupled with the fossil evidence that limbs initially evolved from fins, could point to how the evolution actually happened in the wild.
Though the zebrafish grew its little limbs in just a day after receiving the protein, it didn’t last long after that, dying four days after the implant. “Of course, we haven’t been able to grow hands,” said Caseres.
The little guy’s kind of adorable, isn’t he?
(Top photo: Carl Zeiss Microscopy/Flickr)