\ Visualizing Evolution: Therapsid Evolution

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Therapsid Evolution

I spotted this fantastic illustration of therapsid evolution by Carl Buell ("Olduvai George") over at Paleoblog. It's from the Donald R. Prothero book Evolution: What the Fossils say and Why it Matters, which has been in my Amazon 'wish list' for months. With illustrations like this, I pretty much have to click that "check out" button, now.

click for big!

It's similar to other line-of-descent drawings we've already looked at, but he's obviously done a few things here to make his version very dynamic. It reads from bottom-to-top instead of the standard left-to-right, and the pose changes from left to right-facing. Looking at this piece you can't help but see it as an animation, with the animal morphing as it roars and turns its head. Perhaps you even hear the sound of its vocalization change as it becomes more mammalian. How does it sound?

I don't even think he needed that motion blur to get the effect. In fact, if I wasn't as busy as I am, I'd take this thing into Photoshop and erase out the motion blur to prove it!


Will Baird said...

Hola Heidi et al!

Since you all are associated with 'Visualizing Evolution,' I spotted the following press releases for some papers (here and here) that you may be interested in.

Nice blog, btw.

Heidi Richter said...

Thanks for reading and for the info!

Sorry for the late reply--it has not been a good month for blogging. : )