Cats use their jaws a lot, right?
Well, guess what — despite all the excitement over Cumbre Vieja, I was just cruising into the home stretch on reviewing my notes for the next chapter in the cat-evolution series before writing it when a hitherto unknown (to me) evolutionary setback for jawed vertebrates showed up.
I must look into it (despite knowing how it turns out: some survive).
Little Alfred (up above) is counting on me. How sad if he couldn’t get his feather toy!
Still, I’m in the home stretch (end-Devonian), not long before that jawed fishy amphibious ancestor of cats (and primates, among other groups) walks out of the water on some deltaic shore and lays an egg.
Then its hatchlings, unlike these baby turtles — and with no outside help — refuse the call of the sea and instead turn inland to find their destinies.
Fortunately for our pets and us, that crazy idea back in Carboniferous times worked out for enough of them to survive and evolve further over the next 350 million years or so (just as a note, the chapter that ends in the Carboniferous begins around 4 billion years ago: reading it won’t consume lots of time, but researching it sure does!).
As always, thanks for your interest and support!
Featured image: Mark Turnauckus, CC BY 2.O.