The lineage of which humans are a part is a very ancient offshoot of our mammalian family tree, so it was 166 million years ago that we last shared a common ancestor with humans, and that puts them somewhere between mammals and reptiles, because they lack a lot of specialized characters that we have gained but the ancestral amniote also lacked; for instance, they have no electroreception, no bills, no webbed feet, and no venom. So we can use them to trace the changes that have occurred as we went from being a reptile, to having fur to making milk to having our specialized features.
Monday, June 04, 2012
A Platypus Describes Humans
Ryan Gregory invents The Platypus Fallacy to illustrate an important concept in evolution. Here's how a platypus describes humans. See if you can spot the problem.