78 “Convergence (One of These Things is Not Like the Ichthyosaur)” 2017
248–90 mya (ichthyosaur)/226 mya-present (mosquito)/195-190 mya (dimorphodon)/56-33.9 mya-present (bat)/3.9-28.1 mya-present (seagull)/6 mya-present (coho salmon)/1,753-1,598 ya-present (goldfish). Icthyosaur and Dimorphodon extinct, all others extant. Ichthyosauria (ichthyosaur)/Culicidae (mosquito)/Dimorphodon/Chiroptera (bat)/Laridae (seagull)/Oncorhynchus kisutch (coho salmon, a.k.a. silver, achvuun)/Carassius auratus (goldfish).
Multiple chimeras. One of these things is not like the other — no surprise, it's the ichthyosaur! The ichthyosaur was an extinct swimming reptile with a similar body shape to fish (here exemplified by the spawning-season male coho salmon of my Alaskan youth, plus the more domestic goldfish). Convergent evolution is the emergence of similar traits in only distantly related organisms, often developing from similar environments. Thus we see (pun intended) that the eye has evolved independently multiple different times in very different animals. Other common convergent physical traits are vaginas, penises, colouration, etc. – and frequently body shape, seen in the real-life versions of this artwork's salmon, goldfish and ichthyosaur (also a body shape seen in aquatic mammals, e.g., cetaceans and seals, not shown here). Convergent evolution also resulted in differently derived flying animals, all adapted to a three-dimensional air environment, all independently developing wings: here, insects (mosquito), birds (seagull), mammals (bat) and reptiles (Dimorphodon). Some theorists argue that behaviour too is convergent (cf. Blackledge & Gillespie 2004) and some have argued, I think correctly, that the "invention" of agriculture is instead an example of cross-cultural human behavioural convergent evolution (cf. Rosenberg 2015).
#dimorphodon #lastcommonancestor #homologous #analogous #bats #seagulls #prehistoricanimals #mosquitoes #convergentevolution #cohosalmon #goldfish #ichthyosaur #respectyourelders #darwin #surrealism
#artbook #sciencebooks #scienceart #illustratedbooks #graphicnovel #evolutionarytheory #emergingartist #visionaryart #gallery #artagent #curators