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Evolution A Short Biography of Life a play. Time. Age of the universe: 13.72 ± 0.12 billion years Age of solar system: 4.54 ± 0.45 billion years Age of earth: ~4 billion years Age of life: ~3.5 billion years Age of eukaryotes: ~1.8 billion years Age of multicellulars: ~1.2 billion years

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slide1

Evolution

A Short Biography of Life

a play

slide4

Age of the universe: 13.72 ± 0.12 billion years

Age of solar system: 4.54 ± 0.45 billion years

Age of earth: ~4 billion years

Age of life: ~3.5 billion years

Age of eukaryotes: ~1.8 billion years

Age of multicellulars: ~1.2 billion years

Age of chordates: 500-550 million years

Age of mammals: ~240 million years

Age of placentals: ~130 million years

Age of primates: ~60 million years

Age of apes: ~30 million years

Age of genus Homo: ~2.5 million years

Age of Homo sapiens: ~150,000 years

Written history: ~5,000 years

slide8

Antonio Snider-Pellegrini. 1858. La Création et ses mystères dévoilés ("Creation and its Mysteries Unveiled")

slide9

Bullard’s fit (by computer)

Edward Bullard

Bullard E, Everett JE, Smith AG. 1965. The fit of the continents around the Atlantic. Philos. Trans. R. Soc. London 258A: 41-51.

slide10

Alfred Lothar Wegener (1880-1930)

Die Entstehung der Kontinente und Ozeane[The origin of continents and oceans], 1915.

slide34

Estimated Numbers of Described Extant Species (Lecointre and Guyader 2001)*

____________________________________________________________________________________________

Taxon Common Name Number of described species Percentage of total (%)

____________________________________________________________________________________________

Bacteria true bacteria 9021 0.5

Archaea archaebacteria 259 0.01

Bryophyta mosses 15000 0.9

Lycopodiophyta clubmosses 1275 0.07

Filicophyta ferns 9500 0.5

Coniferophyta conifers 601 0.03

Magnoliophyta flowering plants 233885 13.4

Fungi fungi 100800 5.8

"Porifera" sponges 10000 0.6

Cnidaria cnidarians 9000 0.5

Rotifera rotifers 1800 0.1

Platyhelminthes flatworms 13780 0.8

Mollusca mollusks 117495 6.7

Annelida annelid worms 14360 0.8

Nematoda nematodes 20000 1.1

Arachnida arachnids 74445 4.3

Crustacea crustaceans 38839 2.2

Insecta insects 827875 47.4

Echinodermata echinoderms 6000 0.3

Chondrichthyes cartilaginous fishes 846 0.05

Actinopterygii ray-finned bony fishes 23712 1.4

Lissamphibia amphibians 4975 0.3

Mammalia mammals 4496 0.3

Chelonia turtles 290 0.02

Squamata lizards and snakes 6850 0.4

Aves birds 9672 0.6

Other 193075 11.0

____________________________________________________________________________________________

*The total number of described species is assumed to be 1,747,851. This figure, and the numbers of species for taxa are taken from LeCointre and Guyader (2001) and Cracraft (2002).

Lecointre, G. and H. Le Guyader. (2001). Classification phylogenetique du vivant. Paris, France: Belin.

Cracraft, C. (2002). The seven great questions of systematic biology: an essential foundation for conservation and the sustainable use of biodiversity. Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden, 89, 127-144.

slide35

About right…

Vertebrates 50,841

Flowering Plants 233,885

slide36

Slight underestimates…

Arthropods 941,159

Fungi 100,800

~3,000,000-30,000,000 species

slide37

Huge underestimates…

Bacteria 9,021

Archaea 259

?

slide38

Total number of described species:

1,747,851

Estimated range of total number of species in the world:

3,600,000 to 117,700,000

Erwin TL. 1982. Tropical forests: Their richness in Coleoptera and other arthropod species. The Coleopterist Bulletin 36(1): 74-75.

Lecointre G & Le Guyader H. 2001. Classification phylogenetique du vivant. Belin: Paris.

Cracraft C. 2002. The seven great questions of systematic biology: an essential foundation for conservation and the sustainable use of biodiversity. Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden 89:127-144.

slide39

Known knowns

&

Known unknowns

“There are known knowns. These are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things that we know we don\'t know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we don\'t know we don\'t know.” Donald Rumsfeld

slide40

~30% of all animals are beetles

There is a story, possibly apocryphal, of the distinguished British biologist, J. B. S. Haldane, who found himself in the company of a group of theologians. On being asked what one could conclude as to the nature of the Creator from a study of his creation, Haldane is said to have answered, “An inordinate fondness for beetles.”

Hutchinson,G. E. 1959. Homage to Santa Rosalia or

Why are there so many kinds of animals? Am. Nat.

93:145-159.

slide44

Background

Extinctions

slide45

Mass

Extinctions

slide51

Controversy:

Do mass extinctions exhibit a periodicity of 25-32 million years?

slide55

Controversy:

Is the cause of mass extinctions always extraterrestrial?

slide57

Acceleration of extinction rates?

Unit = extinctions per million species per year (E/MSY)

1500-1900 25 E/MSY

1900-2000 50-150 E/MSY

2000-20061500 E/MSY

Pimm S, Raven P, Peterson A, Sekercioglu ÇH & Ehrlich PR. 2006. Human impacts on the rates of recent, present, and future bird extinctions. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 103: 10941-10946.

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