The study of one type of evidence of evolution is called embryology, the study of embryos. An embryo is an unborn (or unhatched) animal or human young in its earliest phases. Embryos of many different kinds of animals: mammals, birds, reptiles, fish, etc. look very similar and it is often difficult to tell them apart. Many traits of one type of animal appear in the embryo of another type of animal. For example, fish embryos and human embryos both have gill slits. In fish they develop into gills, but in humans they disappear before birth.

This shows that the animals are similar and that they develop similarly, implying that they are related, have common ancestors and that they started out the same, gradually evolving different traits, but that the basic plan for a creature's beginning remains the same.


The embryos of this hippo, frog, and rabbit all looked very similar in their early stages of development.