Friday, August 15, 2008

Love This Picture


The Therapsids Facing the Archosaurian Threat is what I would have called this.

Doug Muir, I believe, is the one that pointed out that the last 275 million years of ecological struggle for the top dog position in the terrestrial ecosystem has been a grudge match between the archosaurs and the therapsids. When he made the observation, I thought it was a spunky and flip, if accurate, statement about how evolution in the terrestrial realm has generated ecologies for the past two two and change geological eras.

You have to wonder...is that it? Will the future be an eternal struggle between derivatives of the therapsids and archosaurs? The anapsids seem to have been the also rans of the amniote line. The lissamphibians are currently working on going extinction helped my the WMD of the therapsid line (us), so it seems unlikely they will inherit the terrestrial ecosystem. So...what do you all think? Whither the future of the terrestrial ecosystems megafauna niches after the fall of man?

Yes, yes, its a perennial question with me, and we did start a future biotic TL elsewhere, but I did most of the effort and I don't have time to do so again. Yet, this thought still hounds me.

3 comments:

Nathan Myers said...

I'm betting on the cnidarians, myself.

Although perhaps we're all cnidarians, therapsids and archosaurs alike.

Will Baird said...

Snarky, aint we?

:P

Raymond said...

The future belongs to the synapsids. The archosaurs may have great diversity in terms of birds, but when it comes to potential phenotypic plasticity, the pathetic remnants of the crurotarsans have been virtually driven out of terrestrial niches now and for all time. An intense future glacial that had lowland equatorial regions freezing frequently at night would wipe them out. That might not even be needed, since fish, turtles and mammals have slowly but surely been invading their niches.