A Conversation for Colours of Wildlife: Biarmosuchians

Wow, what a diverse bunch, Willem.

Post 1

Elektragheorgheni -Please read 'The Post'

This is truly fascinating, I never knew much about these proto-mammals. What sources do you use to find all these guys? Sorry just a librarian at heart. Thank you so much for sharing all these creatures with us.


Wow, what a diverse bunch, Willem.

Post 2

Willem

Hi Elektra, glad you like this. I have a good collection of books about prehistory here, and the local library have more. I've been reading about this since I was 5 or 6 years old. The most influential event was when I was 7 or 8 and there was an exhibition of pre-mammal fossils at the Transvaal Museum. They were incredible, most quite small, like a bunch of fantasy doggies. I bought a book about them right there and it's still a good source of info. These days I use the internet, I go seeking for things by search words like 'synapsid', 'therapsid', 'theriodont' and so on on Google. There's a bit of info on them on Wikipedia, enough for a start, especially when also consulting the French, Spanish and German versions of each info page, and then I go seeking what else I can get. I especially need photos of the actual fossils from which to make my own reconstructions. I love getting an actual original scientific paper treating the finds in detail.


Wow, what a diverse bunch, Willem.

Post 3

Prof Animal Chaos.C.E.O..err! C.E.Idiot of H2G2 Fools Guild (Official).... A recipient of S.F.L and S.S.J.A.D.D...plus...S.N.A.F.U.

No words! Said 'em beforesmiley - smiley

Einstein and Hawking's might have been great in their field, but! Willem, you lead in yours my friendsmiley - ok


Wow, what a diverse bunch, Willem.

Post 4

Willem

Hi Prof! It makes me really happy that you appreciate this stuff. I'm doing my best and the originals actually have a bit more detail compared to the way they're seen here.


Wow, what a diverse bunch, Willem.

Post 5

Prof Animal Chaos.C.E.O..err! C.E.Idiot of H2G2 Fools Guild (Official).... A recipient of S.F.L and S.S.J.A.D.D...plus...S.N.A.F.U.

You know me Willem smiley - smileyI only speak the truth! (I'm a Yorkshireman, I say what I think)
OK! you got such as:-
Vincent van Gogh
Pablo Picasso
Paul Cézanne
etc etc - all great in their own field of artsmiley - smiley (who caressmiley - winkeye)not my style...
But! other artiste's (of all genres)who follow with various art forms will also make historysmiley - smileyand I predict 100% THAT you my friend, will also become a world noted artiste soonsmiley - ok

And I want to be able to bragsmiley - smileythat I've "talked" with that guy on H2G2 - social media smiley - magic


Wow, what a diverse bunch, Willem.

Post 6

paulh, hiding under my bed

Herpetoskytax has a unique name, and an apparent fondness for biting at very large dragonflies. smiley - ok

Could those huge dragonflies have evolved strange wondrous creatures as well? smiley - bigeyes


Wow, what a diverse bunch, Willem.

Post 7

Willem

Well Prof I'm working hard as I can … either gonna gain fame, or notoriety!

Paulh, those giant dragonflies … actually technically they should be called 'griffinflies' because they're a more 'primitive' than the real dragonflies of today … kinda to dragonflies like proto-mammals are to mammals. But they were big, reaching wingspans of 70 cm/28"! The one in the pic is a bit smaller. They lived in the Carboniferous and Permian, and back then were the biggest flying things. It's been postulated that they became so big because there was more oxygen in the atmosphere … but this wasn't the case for much of the Permian. And actually they were lightly built … some modern giant beetles (who can fly quite well) might actually be heavier! So … I think they were so big because there was no other competition for the airways. But in the the next period, the Triassic, a new group of fliers came on the scene, the pterosaurs; they were followed by birds in the Jurassic, and bats in the Cenozoic. So … I think the griffinflies/giant dragonflies simply were outcompeted, or even eaten up by the new flying things.

Now … for a nice spec evo exercise one can imagine an Earth in which those pterosaurs and the birds and bats never evolved, leaving the skies uncontested to the dragonflies/griffinflies for many more millions of years … which might indeed then have evolved into amazing new forms. But they were pretty close to the size limit of flying insects … so if we want them to become bigger still, they'll have to evolve some innovations of their musculature, exoskeletons and breathing systems …

I might think about possibilities and maybe come up with a few possible speculative alternative-reality griffinflies ...


Wow, what a diverse bunch, Willem.

Post 8

paulh, hiding under my bed

I look forward to seeing what you come up with. smiley - bigeyes


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