I wonder how many eras of Earth's natural history have been completely lost just because they didn't make a visible mark on the planet.
I wonder how many species have been forever lost to time only because they never fossilized or left behind and traces of their existence.
Who knows what incredible, terrifying, or seemingly alien forms of life once called this planet home, that we'll never know once existed?
Ancient life is incredible. It makes me sad to know that so many species of flora and fauna and everything in between will never be known. Things so odd they seem straight out of movies.
Life and evolution are just so incredible, and deserve so much more appreciation than they get.
Posted in Paleontology CoprolitePosting
Edit: thank you to @frogspawnandbread who found out the artist! He is Satoshi Kawasaki, and here’s a link to a page on his website with ammonite illustrations:
Fun Fact: some “pill bugs” are crustaceans. Others... are not
When I was around 12, a friend of mine told me that “potato bugs” (which is what we called these^ dudes where I grew up) weren’t actually bugs.
“They’re crustaceans,” she said, gleefully handing me a few. “Like crabs.”
This was shocking and delightful to me, and I carefully stored this fun fact away in the part of my brain used for exactly these sorts of fun facts. (I don’t remember where I stored the potato bugs she handed me, but my mom probably made me put them back in the garden).
Later, I learned that, while this is true, it wasn’t the whole story. It was true that some “potato bugs” (aka “pill bugs”) are terrestrial crustaceans. But there was another kind as well, living side-by-side with our funky little crustaceans, looking much the same
The crustacean pill bugs that my friend was talking about are members of the family Armadillidae. The second group are a type of millipede, which we group together into the order Oniscomorpha. Here’s a comparison:
pretty similar, right? Which is why it’s interesting that these guys aren’t closely related at all. (Also, I would like to voice my support of using the word “bug” to mean “terrestrial invertebrate”. Prescriptivist language is silly, and I say that spiders can be called “bugs” because that’s what people often call them. Hemipterans, don’t @ me with your “True Bug” claims 😉).
This is an excellent example of convergent evolution, in which two groups of organisms adapt to similar environments in similar ways, even though they’re not closely related. These two buggos both like to live under things, such as rocks, rotting logs, leaf litter, and paving stones, where they eat decomposing organic matter and generally live their best lives.
Clearly, this design was very well-suited for this way of life!
(This meme is deeply incorrect, but I thought it was funny. 1. they objectively came to the same design independently, bc evolution doesn’t copy homework (except with horizontal gene transfer but that’s a whole OTHER tangent) 2. I don’t actually know who came first. They both appeared in in Carboniferous period at least 300 million years ago, but that is a RANGE OF TIME, so 🤷♂️. )
And it doesn’t stop there! I guess the “armour on back, curl up when spooked” design is pretty popular in the tree of life!
This has been fun fact friday keeping you updated on the latest trends, all the way from the Carboniferous period!!
Zebra finches sing a special song to their eggs to warn them about hot weather, and these calls seem to program the hatchlings’ cells to harness energy from food without creating excessive heat. This may help their offspring adapt to warmer temperatures.
Zebra finches, which mostly live in arid areas of Australia, sing “heat calls” at temperatures above 26°C. Previous studies have found that the calls seem to reduce the growth of offspring in hot nests and increase their reproductive success as adults. A smaller body size may help young birds cope better in higher temperatures, as the result is a larger surface area to volume ratio which means they can lose heat more efficiently.
Now, for the first time, we have evidence that when zebra finch eggs are exposed to heat calls, it changes how energy-generating units inside cells, called mitochondria, work in chicks after they hatch.
A sketchy take on what I'd like the starters to evolve into!!
Sprigatito would be fairy grass and based on the iberian lynx
Fuecoco is fire dragon ( a bit of a reach i know ) and based on the cuelebre dragon and festivals, the pepper like tail shakes and can make music while it dances!!! It also reminds me of a pinata!
And quaxly is water steel, based on naval captains, and sea farers, and cranes, it likes to explore and keeps a strict schedule.
I had so much fun with these little doodles!
I had so much fun doodling these guys :3