Thursday, October 23, 2008

Life long ago

Perhaps the artist has anthropomorphized this little fellow a little much. But something similar to this creature did once live, swimming through the warm, shallow seas of the Ordovician Era, 460 million years ago. Almost nothing lived on land back then -- how quiet and eerie the world must have been, with nothing to see but rock and sand and mud, not a bird to be heard, not a leaf to quiver in the wind, just a few arthropods skittering in the seashore mud and eating slime.

As promissum wriggled unblinking through the waters, one of the few creatures of the era to have developed eyes, it looked upon a watery world that was far different than what a diver would see today. No fish, not any with jaws, at least. None of the great and scary sea monsters that would prowl the depths in later years, and certainly no whales, dolphins or even sharks.


Janice Thomson said...

It's pretty amazing and down right fascinating the history of the universe. He's a cute little fella :)

Eastcoastdweller said...

The picture from the book in which I first learned of this wee beastie Promissum gives him even bigger eyes and thus amplifies the cute factor.

His neighbors Sacabambaspis, Endoceras and Orthograptus would not have won any primeval beauty contests.

Wanderlust Scarlett said...

Truly ironic. I have fish on my site too, this week.

You paint a very strange picture, of our planet in its early days. Very strange indeed. I hadn't thought of it, but now I'll probably spend some time there, in the back of my mind, wandering and wondering.

Scarlett & Viaggiatore