Neil Shubin alert: Researchers have found evidence that the development of hands and feet occurred through the gain of new DNA elements that activate particular genes – and they used a zebrafish to show it. 

The transition from water to land was obviously a major event in the history of vertebrate
life. In order to understand how fins may have evolved into limbs, researchers introduced extra Hoxd13, a gene known to play a role in distinguishing body parts, at the tip of a zebrafish embryo’s fin. This led to the generation of new cartilage tissue and the reduction of fin tissue—changes that are similar to key aspects of land-animal limb development. 

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