The question I have is why are there gaps in the fossil record? What is your favorite theory?
Maybe tiktaalik is an exception and is a missing link that was found where evolutionist told us to look - maybe not. Are there other examples that could exceptions: missing links found where evolutionist told us to look?
I think all those different explanations are partially correct.
What I think is most important for the public perception is that the bigger and better-known fossil species are relatively long-lived animals. Also the larger predators like T Rex must have been far less numerous than the dinosaurs they consumed.
Somewhere on another thread in this forum I posted info on T Rex fossils. That species existed for about 3 million years and we have found about 30 specimens. That is one from about every 100,000 years. This is for very large bones which are easy to spot as fossils and found in arid western ESA where exposure by erosion is relatively rapid.
I do not know what species is believed to be the immediate ancestor of T Rex, or whether there are known fossils which are somewhat intermediate between this ancestor and T Rex, but suppose that transition required 200,000 years, but the population of these intermediates averaged about half as many as the eventual T Rex population. This would suggest 1 transitional fossil.
Would we be able to identify this as transitional or just classify it as T Rex with some archaic features.
The real date on fossil transitions between species comes from species like foraminifera, where large numbers of individuals have been recovered as fossils from cores from undisturbed ocean sediments. Much less spectacular than dinosaurs.
As to other predictions of fossil finds, Darwin suggested Africa for human origin. I also believe that the recent whale transitional species were found by looking in sediments of the right age and environment.
Marsupials are another example. Earliest marsupial fossils are from North America, around 80 million years ago. They spread through South America and now are found mainly in Australia. Continental drift data shows that marsupial ancestors could have migrated via Antarctica before Gondwanaland broke up completely. Sure enough, they were there.http://www.nytimes.c...mal-fossil.html