In several animal and plant groups, enough fossils are known to bridge the wide gaps betwe

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In several animal and plant groups, enough fossils are known to bridge the wide gaps between existing types [species]. In mammals, for example, the gap between horses, asses and zebras (genus _Equus_) and their closest living relatives, the rhinoceroses and tapirs, is filled by an extensive series of fossils extending back sixty million years to a small animal, _Hyracotherium_, which can only be distinguished from the rhinoceros-tapir group by one or two horse-like details of the skull. There are many other examples of fossil 'missing links', such as _Archaeopteryx_, the Jurassic bird which links birds with dinosaurs , and _Ichthyostega_, the late Devonian amphibian which links land vertebrates and the extinct choanate (having internal nostrils) fishes." Not to mention the advanced Cynodonts, which rather nicely bridge the gap between reptiles and mammals. In fact this sequence of about 8 to 10 distinct forms is nearly as elegent a demonstration of transition as the Neogene equids (horses). The core transitional forms differ from one another by less than the differences within a single famly of living insectivores, yet the earliest is a classical Cynodont, and the last is a stem-mammal called Morganucodon.

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