Archive | February, 2010

Speculative Biology Sunday: Land Fish

28 Feb

Once upon a time, a long time ago (somewhere in the order of 350 million years ago) fish evolved to to such a point that they could comfortably leave the comfort of the water for long periods of time, eventually to the point that they could live most of their lives out of the water.
As far as we know, that was the only time this has happened. Why not?
Well mostly because any fish that starts to evolve terrestriallity is hastily outcompeted by the multitude of land critters that have long ago mastered living out of water.
But what if by some amazing set of circumstances, fish did get the chance to have another shot at conquering dry land?
There are quite a few species of semi amphibious fishes floating around at the moment. Mudskippers, and the Climbing Gouramin are good examples of this.
But the one I want to focus on in this post is the Walking Catfish.

Walking Catfish
Modern Walking Catfish are already accomplished landsmen. On being introduced to florida, they have become a rather troublesome pest species, moving overland to get to new ponds, rivers and swampland. They have a snakelike thrashing mode of walking, using their spiney pectoral fins to provide traction. Their gills have a branching supportive gill arches that support their gills out of water, allowing them to breathe air with them.

Add more selection towards landlubbing and bake for a million years or so and I think you would have something akin to this.

Future Catfish
The ray fins proving to hard to associate together in a way able to support body weight without further and extreme selection, these terrestrial catfish have opted for a more snakelike form of locomotion, using their spiney fins as purchace on slipperier terrain.
The surface area and volume of their gills has increased to improve their oxygen uptake from the air. They also absorb oxygen through their skin.
Their elongated body aids the serpentine form of locomotion.
Their barbels still function as sensory organs and so are constantly waving around and touching things in the path of any given individual, resembling an ants antennae.
Their swimming fins are greatly reduced. The eel-like dorsal fin is elongated down the back of the tail and replacing the absent caudal fin.

Mostly insectivorous, but otherwise oppurtunistic omnivores.

That is all for now. Might do another post in the future about where they go from here.
I actively encourage questions 🙂



Learning Scribbles

25 Feb

Yeah, these are pretty much just mental popups from uni. As I am back at uni now. There are lots of mental popups at uni, its good.
I’m really busy at the moment, so not so many posts as I would like for a little while anyway. You’ll live.
Explaining the scribbles, left to right, working down: spoonerism that was mistakenly said, triceratops have 8 horns, the middle one was on a lecturers shirt and I am severly confused as to why an armed gibbon would need anyones help, rhino’s display broadsides to each other as a display of strenght to other males, and planes are superior to birds except they can’t land in trees.


Dino Run

22 Feb

I’ve been playing a fair bit of Dino Run lately, and at one point my little dromeosaur character was riding a parasaurolophus and proceeded to leap over an active volcano. I would sell my soul to see that in real life, that would be amazing. Maybe a finger to see it in a movie.
And I realised that all the sauropods in this game are either up to their armpits in tar, or perched percariously on large boulders. No wonder they’re extinct.


Trannysaurus rex

20 Feb

Hooray for going back to pen and pencils! It feels good to be having my sketchbook with me all the time again.
Back to uni next week, which should also be awesome. Muchly looking forward to it.


42nd Post

16 Feb

6 Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster please bartender, I fully intend on rocking out!

ZaphodThats not beetroot juice in my beard, I’m just happy to see you. Wanna see my spaceship?

…The renewed shock had nearly made him spill his drink. He drained it quickly before anything serious happened to it. He then had another quick one to follow the first one down and check that it was all right.
“Freedom,” he said aloud.
Trillian came on to the bridge at that point and said several enthusiastic things on the subject of freedom.
“I can’t cope with it,” Zaphod said darkly, and sent a third drink down to see why the second hadn’t yet reported on the condition of the first. He looked uncertainly at both of her and preferred the one on the right.
He poured a drink down his other throat with the plan that it would head the previous one off at the pass, join forces with it, and together they would get the second to pull itself together. Then all three would go off in search of the first, give it a good talking to and maybe a bit of a sing as well.
He felt uncertain as to whether the fourth drink had understood all that, so he sent down a fifth to explain the plan more fully and a sixth for moral support.


Ramshackle van Ursus

14 Feb



Found this bear at a bookshop for $5. Bought it on a whim and decided that it was too much of a wuss and I would do something about this. So I did. Everything I added to it was stuff that I already had lying around. I think I did a pretty good job.



You can’t tell but he has an evil jagged smile!



13 Feb

I’ve been looking up things on because I have been looking up fun recipies to do.
I found out something rather ridiculous.
Its .com.AU and there are are more search results for DINOSAUR than KANGAROO!!!


Further Adventures of the Time Travelling Construction Crane

11 Feb

This is my theory as to how stonehenge was built.
I think archeologists should go search the site for crane-prints.

Lake Burley Elephant

9 Feb

Hooray for random doodlings because I was finished what I was supposed to be doing with that map!

Speculative Biology Sunday: Green Tube Worms II

7 Feb


For those of you which are more familiar with TYFYT, you may remember this post. Essentially it explored the potential for deep sea hydrothermal vent worms Riftia pachyptila to evolve into a from that symbioses with a photosynthetic algea instead of a chemosynthetic bacteria, thus becoming a primary producer in shallow marine ecosystems.
However, all I really covered in the last post is a little about their symbiosis and why they cannot evolve into a photosynthetic form. Which is no fun at all. I wasn’t very happy with it all. So here is something new. SPECULATIVE BIOLOGY SUNDAY. Coming to you fairly regularly with a wide variety of hypothetical evolutions of modern, or extinct flora and fauna of this wonderful rock we all call home, or earth, whatever.

Green Tube Worm


The swimming form is a Presulcampester sp, the crawling form is a Repofolium sp, the sessile form is a Loricatuspluma sp.

General Information

For the sake of the arguement, we will suggest that these green tube worms (denoted as gtw henceforth) were created by genetic engineering of Riftia species of giant tube worm, as discussed in the last post. Early after their ‘creation’ the also imbibed and symbiosed with a species of nitrifying bacteria (similair to those found in the roots of  legumes such as acacias and peas) as they were still very susceptible to infection to a wide range of single celled organisms in their larval form. This eventually stabalized out through natural selection of course until the gtw only ever imbibed their photosynthetic and nitrific symbionts. Their nitrific symbionts meant that they could make their own organic nitrates which they could use to make their own proteins a lot easier, this was a great advantage and soon all species of gtw without nitrifying symbionts were outcompeted.
Other notable developments in the evolution of a pinnate form. Similair to pinnate leaves in plants as below.leavesThe pinnate body of species of gtw that evolved it offered not only more surface area compared to volume, but also the use of the pinnate leaves to be used for paddles, legs or allow the delicate extensions of their body used for photosynthesis to be curled up and taken out of harms way should predation disturbance threaten them.
A few species have also reinforced their chitin outer tube and created pockets for their pinnate leaves to be withdrawn into in the case of predation.

This is all for now.
I may add more to this at a later date.


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