Showing posts with label Carboniferous. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Carboniferous. Show all posts


The name "Haikouichthys" comes from the Greek: "Ichthys" which means fish "Fish of the Chinese city of Haikou". And you put that name is very characteristic. I mean, a fish is a fish, and you do not name it except that fish being fish special. And here it is ... because the Haikouichthys is the first fish of evolution. Not only that, it is also one of the first vertebrates that existed, and which all others come from trout, shark, elephant, hen, you and me.

Anyway, this post, the first vertebrate, the first fish of prehistory, he shares with his contemporary, the Pikaia. Both of others lived in the Cambrian, appeared at the beginning of the famous Cambrian explosion of life. 530 million years ago.

The Haikouichthys, was not a giant of the oceans, in fact, was about 2.5 cm (3 in). With your thumb we could have ended the life of one of the most important animal in the history of evolution.

(It occurs to me cuanticocosmictemporal dysfunction, if we traveled back in time to 530 million years ago and we killed the fish in Haikou that evolved in all vertebrates, we would not exist, and therefore we could not kill the Haikouichthys, so he would survive and we too .... anyway ... I do not follow me head implodes and the blog is not about that).

A further feature is that Haikouichthys had a distinct head of the body. Until then, prehistoric animals seemed tubes, it was not known or where to eat or where defecated ... at first glance. And far fewer had a clear center differential that controlled the other body part. But with the Haikouichthys this was more evident. Had a head, eyes and mouth of millimeters. And then a "long" body with dorsal and pectoral fin that served to move like fish in water.

The movement is really important. We must bear in mind that at the beginning of the Cambrian, most of the oceans was occupied by large arthropods, sponges or slow and slimy worms. And suddenly, a small chordate appears, a young vertebrate with a capacity that others had: was agile and quick. And though not great, thanks to its speed and agility, he could escape their large predators and become the main protagonist in the formation of large animal phyla: vertebrates.

The first bees

A few years ago, an event happened that alarmed the world population: the bees were disappearing. Do not really know why, but I'm sure that human activity played a role, the question is who killed millions of bees, and are still disappearing.

That made ​​me curious enough: there were bees in prehistory, not 10,000 or 15,000 years ago, which we know existed and we know that the honey collected our ancestors, but for many thousands or millions of years.

From the information I have collected I have extracted the following. Prehistoric bees appeared before the appearance of the first humans. The appearance of the first bees (of which there is evidence, the Melittosphex burmensis) dates back about 100 million years. The appearance of these prehistoric bees was a mixture of carnivorous wasps and honey bees now. Their lifestyle was similar to the current bee, living in colonies and you gathered pollen for their young ... or so it seems, a little puzzled because it had features jackets and carnivorous wasps.

Maybe they were omnivores, so I say I'm not an expert, but it is curious that began to develop the first flowers, the most common that we see now, we have then a fruit and then a seed, does just 100 million years, just when bees appeared on Earth ... that chance and effective relationship, after 100 million years, that relationship remains virtually unchanged.
Another curious fact is that since bees first appeared (the Melittosphex burmensis) to the following species of bee on record (Electrapis tornquisti) spent 50 million years ... maybe had not yet developed enough of flowering plants (angiosperms) to accommodate and support to other species of bees .... or maybe, the characteristics of these small carnivorous bees, wasps (3mm) the Melittosphex, allowed them to exterminate their competitors at the time that these appeared ... or maybe, they began to develop new species, these disappeared with the mass extinction of Cretaceous dinosaurs 65 million years ago ....

... curious mystery.


Helicoprion is a prehistoric cartilaginous fish that first appeared in the Carboniferous ocean finally extinguished in the Late Triassic, about 225 million years.
Helicoprion is thought may have reached a size of about 7 meters long and about 2 tons.
Since you do not have any skull, his way of feeding or predation techniques fall within the realm of speculation. One hypothesis is that fed on ammonites and their teeth were specialized in the task of breaking the shells of these animals.
Have been found in many parts of the world, which indicates its success in a given period.

Here I leave some pictures of different artists and their fossils.

Crassigyrinus scoticus

Crassigyrinus scoticus (large tadpole) had a streamlined body up to 1.5 meters long and 30 cm wide.
The prehistoric animal legs were small in comparison to his body and probably of little value, this indicates that the Crassigyrinus scoticus was perfectly adapted to aquatic environments and did not venture in land area.

The highlight of the Crassigyrinus scoticus was that he was big and strong jaws, equipped with two rows of sharp teeth.
Studies have shown that this Carboniferous animal had a jaw opening up to 60 ° can easily catch their prey. To this we must add a lot of pressure that made his jaw bite one of the most fearsome of the time.

The jaw opening and the speed and agility that gave it its long body and aerodynamic, suggests that between prey fish came fast movements.

Crassigyrinus had eyes rather large, thereby helping to find prey in dark places or in murky water.

This prehistoric amphibian lived in Europe (fossils have been found mainly in Scotland) during the Carboniferous.


Meganeura monyi was a prehistoric insect resembling and related to the present-day dragonfly of the Carboniferous period (300 million years ago), . With a wingspan of more than 75 cm (2.5 ft) wide, it was the largest known flying insect species ever to appear on Earth. (The Permian Meganeuropsis permiana is another contender). It was predatory, feeding on other insects and even small amphibians.

Controversy has prevailed as to how insects of the Carboniferous period were able to grow so large. The way oxygen is diffused through the insect's body via its tracheal breathing system puts an upper limit on body size, which prehistoric insects seem to have well exceeded. It was originally proposed (Harlé & Harlé, 1911) that Meganeura was only able to fly because the atmosphere at that time contained more oxygen than the present 20%. This theory was dismissed by fellow scientists, but has found approval more recently through further study into the relationship between gigantism and oxygen availability. If this theory is correct, these insect giants would have been perilously susceptible to falling oxygen levels and certainly could not survive in our modern atmosphere.

However, more recent research indicates that insects really do breathe, with "rapid cycles of tracheal compression and expansion". If correct, then there is no need to postulate an atmosphere with higher oxygen partial pressure.
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