For all the many years that have passed away

Matthew Lee Knowles


all the bracketed text extracted from ‘The Ancestor’s Tale’ by Richard Dawkins


(and that is a myth too) (and in this context it always is man rather than woman) (although it baffles me why anybody regards this as an explanation for anything, given that the problem so swiftly regresses to the larger one of explaining the existence of the equally fine-tuned and improbable premeditator) (last long enough to make black holes, for instance) (though it often is) (the number of surviving species at the time of observation) (in the main a good book, so I shall not name and shame it) (a human species, probably ancestral to us) (boreal means northern) (and no less) (it is a intriguingly unfamiliar thought that there is always one such species) (including humans) (exactly in most cases, almost exactly in the rest) (it didn’t fossilise) (all but one of the other lineages went extinct) (quite a lot deeper into the past, and probably no longer in Africa) (most of) (or women)

(or more) (petrified gum from trees) (as they tediously do) (or sixteen) (or hexadecimal) (see the Elephant Bird’s Tale) (especially microfossils) (see plate one) (tree rings) (carbon fourteen) (uranium-thorium-lead) (potassium-argon) (which I can sing) (or blossom, depending upon your taste) (unless, as has been recently suggested, their knotted strings were used for language as well as for counting) (the next copying ‘generation’) (it is the French hard c in comme) (American children call it ‘telephone’) (no doubt sincerely) (with very minor variations in a few rare cases) (whether other genes or repetitive nonsense) (and controversial) (or at least slightly more likely than not) (strictly inherited the genes for growing it) (the family of mouse like rodents is called Muridae, and of squirrel-like rodents Scuridae) (plural genera) (plural phyla) (‘panther’)

(‘hunter’ can include fisher) (called ‘bushmen’) (called ‘Indians’ after a navigational error) (who prefer not to be called Eskimos) (the third chimpanzee) (a parasite is less concerned to prolong the life of its present host if it can easily find new victims to infect) (and often overexploit) (and presumably) (his favourites such as chow chows) (and wolves) (which it now seems should be called Simien Wolves) (golden, side-striped and black-backed jackals) (‘propensity to tameness’) (this terminological convention is worth remembering, by the way. An enzyme’s name will often be constructed by adding ‘-ase’ to the first part of the name of the substance on which it works) (and to a lesser extent, their traditional enemies the Hutu) (though, interestingly, not the sedentary branch of Fulani) (my father, as a young man fresh out of college, taught agriculture to peasant farmers in central Africa in the 1940’s, and he tells me that this was one of the hardest lessons to get across) (along with the grasses themselves) (and eventually lawnmowers) (and very recently scientific hybridisation and genetically engineered mutations) (or, in Asia, bamboo) (see plate two) (erectus)

(see plate one) (it happens to be a family name) (and necessarily yours, given that you are human enough to be reading this book) (in this case, the entire major group called Afrotheria which we shall meet at Rendezvous thirteen, and which includes elephants and dugongs, hyraxes and Madagascan tenrecs) (shades of Nazi lamps) (base two) (of course they aren’t) (give or take alien abductions in flying saucers) (1890-1962) (1850-1943, Charles’ second youngest son) (Ed. 1983) (vol. 431, p. 562) (MRCAs) (‘locus’) (people) (overleaf) (i.e. haemophilia is ‘recessive’) (males never receive their X chromosome from their father) (females always receive their father’s only X chromosome) (strictly an allele) (though we cannot detect) (most recent common ancestor) (people or organism) (or even, as we shall see, in the same individual) (possibly mutated) (1904-1918) (Victoria) (‘people’) (say for eye colour) (Edward VII’s great-granddaughter) (Charles) (Rupert and Heinrich) (‘locus’) (as we shall see, even members of other species) (fewer when making sperm, more when making eggs; it is not known why) (non-combining portion of the) (although in this case it is not responsible for making the embryo develop as a female; males have mitochondria, it is just that they don’t pass them on) (and other genes) (creationists please refrain from deliberate misquotation)

(which upset him and he was later palpably relieved to discover respectable African roots for his mitochondria) (although unfortunately, by wiping out genetic lineages, severe bottlenecks tend to erase the traces of what happened before them) (YOOA) (OOOA) (as with Y-chromosomal and mitochondrial DNA) (as with certain smaller parts of the genome) (Homo erectus) (which everyone accepts and for which the evidence is mostly from fossils) [284] (square brackets refer to sources in the bibliography) (or to ‘your’ chimpanzees) (with a small a) (with a large A) (longer still if we include the Neanderthals, of whom more in a moment) (which used to be called Northern Rhodesia) (where we would be Homo sapiens sapiens) (which is why some authorities classify them as just another type of Archaic) (or only incidentally) (described in Eve’s Tale) (Homo habilis) (us) (900cc in early specimens to 1,100cc in late ones) (or shrink again) (and also, in a different way, in a wholly unrelated individual with the same kind of language defect) (as opposed to ‘exons’ which are ‘expressed’ and therefore ‘seen’ by natural selection) (Homo ergaster) (see page ninety-two) (silicon dioxide) (mostly silicon dioxide, but some of the silicon atoms are replaced by aluminium atoms) (calcium carbonate) (which in turn is molten rock) (for sale to gullible creationists who know, all too well, that ‘There were giants in the earth in those days’: Genesis 6:4) (see plate three) (by the distinguished and eccentric sculptor who procured it for me) (if indeed it is genuine, for it looks pretty nondescript to me) (as well as the usual hard ones) (see plate four) (Australopithecus) (Homo ergaster) (slightly unwillingly in my case but I’ll let it pass) (or smaller) (kidney or shoulder-blade) (from my colleague the distinguished anthropologist Robert Martin) [185] (or equal steps up the side) (and height and depth) (width, etc.) (at least initially) (proportional to volume) (initial) (assumed proportional to area) (mass) (second power of linear size) (third power of linear size) (brain size exactly proportional to body size) (or number of body cells) (well, a brain does look a bit like a cauliflower) (and all reptiles below) (monkeys and apes) (xenarthrans are an order of South American mammals, including sloths, anteaters and armadillos) (the EQ would be larger, if calculated against the standard of the vertebrates as a whole. And it would be smaller if calculated against the standard of primates as a whole) (or less) (Mya; log scale) (see text)

(we met them in the graph at the end of the Handyman’s Tale) (or Paranthropus) (or Paranthropus or Zinjanthropus) (or Paranthropus) (gracile being the opposite of robust) (perhaps erroneously as is now suspected) (see below) (page seventy-six) (or ostrich or kangaroo, for that matter) (they were given something to hold on to) (I attribute this inspired way of expressing it to Steven Pinker) (the technical term for this kind of thing is pre-adaption argument is all about) (disconcerting because it seems to leave little time for bipedality to evolve) (as we shall see, many authorities had thought early hominid evolution confined to the east of the rift) (Hope of Life in the local Goran language) (lacking the protruding face of a chimpanzee or a gorilla) (the big hole through which the spinal chord passes) (perhaps rightly) (or some combination from among the four) (often good for a laugh in my experience) (like Lucy) (like ‘Dear Boy’) (very) (you have to eat raw fish guts) (or australopithecines, orrorins or sahelanthropes) (Pan paniscus) (Pan troglodytes) (or ‘phylogeny’) (marked by a numbered circle) (Pan troglodytes) (Pan paniscus) (knuckles) (1871) (a report by a missionary in Liberia in the 1843 issue of the Boston Journal of Natural History) (among others) (‘Toumai’) (genital-genital)

(Gorilla) (concestor one is marked on the branch with a dot at six million years ago) (Gorilla gorilla) (wrongly as Huxley showed) (1763) (American ‘checkers’) (1699)

(several species of the early ape genus Proconsul) (pongo) (Pongo pygmaeus) (see plate five) (by this criterion, as I have often remarked elsewhere, Darwin’s theory of natural selection may be the best theory of all time) (no migrations) (a first migration) (a second migration) (the most obvious difference between monkeys and apes, as we shall see, is that the monkeys retained their tails) [273] (Dryopithecus, Sivapithecus, etc.) (convergent evolution) (the black and white coding on the diagram) (or ancestor) (and Rendezvous four)

(Bunopithecus hoolock) (Hylobates agilis) (Symphalangus syndactylus) (Nomascus gabriellae) (Nomascus) (Symphalangus) (Hylobates) (Bunopithecus) (or at least allows) (from 3900 mya to origin of Earth at 4500 mya sometimes called Hadean) ( (Mya) (see page fifteen) (see page thirty-six) (see page seventy-six) (see page seventy-seven) (see page 173) (see page 119) (castor fiber) (see page 198) (the other is the pygmy hippo, Hexaprotodon liberiensis) (see page 203) (sirenia) [119] (see page 209) (Mirovriga leonina) (see page 214) (Elephantlus edwardii) (see page 224) (see page 228) (pronounced koxix) (or a very short tail) (present twice) (see the Fruit Fly’s Tale) (Megaladapis) (a group consisting of a single species, commonly known as the hoolock) (six species, of which the best-known is the white-handed gibbon Hylobates lar) (the siamang) (four species of ‘crested’ gibbons) (though that will change later in the tale) (an unrooted cladogram in this case) (dichotomies) (trichotomies) (polytomies) (the ‘root’) (Tree A, on page 129) (3 x 2 - 5) (4 x 2 - 5) (5 x 2 - 5) (n x 2 - 5) (usually accidental duplicates of real genes) (or near-identical) (see Rendezvous sixteen) (birds and mammals) (see opposite page) (although not all its members realise it) {British Library plus Egerton} {Christ Church plus Hengwrt} {Christ Church plus Egerton} (note that it is an unrooted tree) (Greek phylon = race/tribe/class) (and now here is the point) (remembering to include branch lengths) (Christ Church) (Hengwrt) (Egerton) (British Library) (Caxton’s preface) (the numbers on the lines) [100] [246] (and thus different parts of an organism) (called SRY) (or the smaller the population size)

(if somewhat arbitrary) (see the Orang Utan’s Tale) (it’s the feature that gives the catarrhines their name) (Mandrillus sphinx) (Cercopithecus ascanius) (Nasalis larvatus) (Colobus angolensis) (Colobina) (Presbytina) (Cercopithecina) (Papionina) (technically ‘prophylactic’)

(when the first monkey fossils appear in South America) (Rendezvous six) (say porcupines) (say mole rats) (Leontopithecus rosalia) (Aotus trivirgatus) (Saimiri sciureus) (Alouatta caraya) (Pithecia monachus) (Pitheciinae) (Atelinae) (Cebinae) (Aotinae) (Callitrichinae) (carnivores) (rodents) (xenarthrans) (marsupials) (‘dichromatic’) (‘trichromatic’) (‘tetrachromatic’) (it has also been demonstrated in wallabies) (but not American) (often pale green, sometimes even red) (some radio waves) (gamma rays) (say) (at least) (to them) (or in some cases the ultraviolet) (violet, green and yellow) (and rods) (the sex chromosome of which females have two copies and males only one) (in our case it is chromosome seven) (some lemurs have it too, by the way, and not all New World monkeys do - for example, nocturnal owl monkeys have monochromatic vision) (plus the blue which again goes without saying) (homozygotes) (heterozygotes) (say) (the suffering is not great, but it is still a nuisance and they presumably are deprived of aesthetic experiences enjoyed by the rest of us) (affecting about eight per cent of males) (retitled The Cooperative Gene in America) (or higher) (or even pentachromatic, if her red genes also differ) (entire-genome duplication is common in plants, and is postulated to have happened at least twice in our ancestry, during the origination of the vertebrates)

(Aegothelidae) (Tarsiidae) (Tarsius syrichta) (literally twisted nose) (simple nose; our nostrils are each just a simple hole) (see ‘The Great Cretaceous Catastrophe’) (Loridae) (Daubentoniidae) (Lemuriidae) (Indriidae) (Megaladapidae) (Heirogalediae) (now Malawi) (in the evening) (which was often, because he was extremely agile and a terrific leaper) (thirty or so species) (eighteen species) (Microcebus myoxinus) (Lepilemur ruficaudatus) (Indri indri) (Eulemur fulvous albifrons) (Daubentonia madagascariensis) (Lori tardigradus) (who later went on to become their party leader) (see page 290) (which presumably flew in) (except it is in the fourth finger instead of the third) (Dactylopsila) (we shall return to the aye-aye and the other lemurs at the end of this tale) (see plate six) (Rendezvous eight at sixty-three Mya) (165 Mya) (eighty-eight Mya) (the great northern continent which was once isolated from its southern counterpart, Gondwana)

(the ‘Deccan Traps’) (see the Geological Timescale in the General Prologue) (mammal-like) (protozoa in tiny shells which fossilise in enormous numbers and are therefore much used by geologists as indicator species) (now there’s a political problem)

(Latin scandere, to climb) (Tupaiidae) (Cynocephalidae) (see the Colugo’s Tale) (Cynocephalus variegatus) (Tupaia belangeri) (usually single) (‘polytomies’: see the Gibbon’s Tale) (Rendezvous eleven to thirteen) (Rendezvous twenty-two) (Rendezvous thirteen) (Rendezvous nineteen) (Rendezvous twenty-eight and twenty-nine) (apart from a single Rendezvous, number thirty-seven, where the order is so unsure that even the experts are not willing to hazard a guess) (but relatively few, I hope)

(two-thirds of which are in the mouse family) (Hydrochaeris hydrochaeris) (Georychus capensis) (Hystrix africaeaustralis) (Sciurus vulgaris) (Muscardinus avellanarius) (Pedetes capensis) (castor fiber) (Clethrionomys glareolus) (Sicista betulina) (Lepus arcticus) (Ochotona princeps) (Ochotonidae) (Leporidae) (Dipodidae) (Muridae) (Castoridae) (Geomyidae) (Heteromyidae) (Pedetidae) (Anomaluridae) (Gliridae) (Aplodontidae) (Sciuridae) (Ctenodactylidae) (Hystricidae) (Phiomorpha) (Caviomorpha) (traditionally, but now controversially, the Black Death may also have been the bubonic plague) (gundis, gerbils) (marmots, chinchillas) (squirrels, including flying squirrels) (water voles, beavers, capybaras) (agoutis) (maras, springhares) (lemmings) (gnaws?) (Read Only memory) (and there imitated equivalents on Windows Machines) (that very similarity famously became the subject of litigation) (some of a book’s most vocal critics are content to read the book by title only) (and lakes) (see plate seven)

(pangolins) (dogs, cats, hyenas, bears, weasels, seals, etc.) (horses, tapirs and rhinos) (antelopes, deer, cattle, camels, pigs, hippos and well, we’ll come to the surprise member of this group later) (respectively small and big bats) (moles, hedgehogs and shrews, but NOT elephant shrews or tenrecs: we have to wait for Rendezvous thirteen to meet them) (spiders are carnivores and so was the hoofed Andrewsarchus, the largest meat-eater since the end of the dinosaurs) (think of the gentle giant panda, eating almost nothing but bamboo) (Insectivora) (Megachiroptera) (Microchiroptera) (Cetartiodactyla) (Perissodactyla) (Carnivora) (Pholidota) (including lions, cheetahs and sabretooths) (including wolves, jackals and Cape hunting dogs) (including pandas) (metacarpals) (metatarsals) (or metatarsal) (metatarsal) (mostly consisting of rodents and primates) (Maris temminckii) (Ursus maritimus) (Tapirus indicus) (Hippopotamus amphibius) (Macroderma gigas) (Pteropus giganteus) (Erinaceus europaeus) (perhaps with a little national pride that his country might have been the cradle of that noble animal) (the sound equivalent of radar) (or scaly anteater) (see plate eight) (which is actually just the Greek for even-toed, so the change doesn’t help much) (Greek for uneven-toed) (though not the subdivisions between them) (with the rodents and rabbits) (the one we have just reached) (RGC) (unfortunate not because of Basil but because saurus means lizard: when first discovered, Basilosaurus was thought to be a marine reptile, and the rules of naming rigidly enforce priority, even though we now know better) (baleen whales) (dolphins and most toothed whales) (killer whales) (Origin of Species, 1859, p. 184) (and there are reasons for believing this over and above their hooves) (plus llamas) (mostly ruminants) (not, by the way, because we are a long way from the Earth’s gravity, as many people think, but because we are in free fall like a parachutist before he pulls the ripcord) (see plate nine) (dugongs and manatees) (although that might be an additional reason) (short, by elephant standards, and used for social purposes only) [5] (the odds against its being a chance effect are more than 5000 to one) (see plate ten) (females mated to more than one male) (about sixteen per cent) (less than one per cent) (708) (males can have more than one wife) (non-common) (g; log scale) (kg; log scale) [132] (above) (the open circle to the far right) (see small vertical cross) (harem) (faithful monogamy)

(non-marsupial) (xenarthra) (see Rendezvous thirteen) (approximately thirty species of sloths, anteaters and armadillos) (Euphracus sexinctus) (odd-toed ungulates) (even-toed ungulates) (true cats) (though not the very largest of them) (which are also now common in North America) (confined to the Andes) (which, strangely enough, seems to have emigrated back to South America from Australia) (from the position of the nose bones)

(also known as sea elephants or sea cows) (see plate eleven) (Elephantulus edwardii) (Eremitalpa granti) (Orycteropus after) (Trichechus manatus) (Loxodonta africana) (Procavia capensis) (Hyracoidea) (Proboscidea) (Sirenia) (Tubulidentata) (Afrosoricida) (Macroscelidea) (although, as always, that cannot be ruled out) (of a serious nature I own) (see plate twelve) (Leviticus 11:5 and the very similar passage in Deuteronomy 14:7) (‘The high hills are a refuge for the wild goats; and the rocks for the conies’) (‘The conies are but a feeble folk, yet make they their houses in the rocks’)

(a map of approximately this period is shown in plate nineteen) (geologically) (monotremes) (marsupials) (including ourselves) (Macropus rufus) (Sarcophilius harrisii) (Notorcytes typhlops) (Macrotis lagotis) (Didelphis virginiana) (Didelphimorphia) (Paucituberculata) (Peramelemorphia) (Notoryctemorphia) (Dasyuromorphia) (Microbiotheria) (Diprotodontia) (for it serves to remove wastes from the foetus as well as to feed it) (but deep) (more especially Tasmania) (specifically New Guinea) (presumably island-hopping) (in trading canoes, we must suppose) (and monotremes) (the rest are all American, mostly opossums plus a few other species such as the enigmatic Dromiciops, the monito del monte) (give or take a few depending on whether we are lumpers or splitters) (family Talpidae) (family Chrysochloridae) (a group of extinct placental mammals) (or plants) (talpid) (or in some golden moles three) (it’s what marsupial MEANS) (by placental standards) (better called marsupial shrews because they eat insects) (Petaurus breviceps) (Petaurus gracilis) (cuscuses and brush tail possums) (or rather a small wallaby)

(Ornithorhynchus anatinus) (Tachyglossus aculeatus) (Tachyglidae) (Ornithorhynchidae) (the leaf form shown is that of modern ginkgos; the leaves of Jurassic ginkgos would have been more finely divided) (because they aren’t joking) (primitive, remember, precisely means ‘resembling the ancestor’) (and perhaps to them on land) [222] (see plate fourteen) (so far they have found no brain cells that respond to electrical sensors only) (and incidentally the bang becomes a rumble because of echoes) [181] (see plate fifteen) (similar to the Dudley Bug, Calymene, which features on the coat of arms of the town of Dudley) (interesting in itself, given the versatility of the arthropods) (not a true eel but another South American freshwater gymnotoid) (sinusoidal in some species, pulsed in others) (unless you count the toxic saliva of solenodons and some shrews that make their bites slightly venomous) (as in bees) (as in snakes) (101 questions your dog would ask its vet) (Dr Tatiana’s sex advice to all creation) (for tentacle eleven) (most of the other tentacles) (at least) [41] (using echoes) (and nobody knows in my red is the same as yours) (blue)

(Mya) [260] (e.g. crocodiles) (birds) (turtles) (except birds) (bony fish such as trout and pike) (and coelacanths are even closer cousins to humans than trout are) (and all mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians) (which unites us to birds and dinosaurs) (see plate sixteen) (as discussed at Rendezvous fifteen)

(the origin of most coal) (using the word in its American sense to include tortoises as well as aquatic turtles and terrapins) (including birds) (Chelonia) (Rhynchocephalia) (Iguania) (Scleroglossa) (Crocodilia) (Tinamiformes) (Struthioniformes) (Ansenformes) (Galliformes and Craciformes) (Neoaves) (including birds) (represented by the mammals) (17,000 living species of ‘reptiles’ and birds) (Geospiza fortis) (Pavo cristatus) (Aix galericulata) (Tinamus solitarius) (Crocodylus niloticus) (Thamnophis sirtalis parietalis) (Chamaeleo chamaeleon) (Sphenodon punctatus) (Chelonia mydas) (see the Farmer’s Tale) (see plate seventeen) (who himself bears a pleasing facial resemblance to Darwin) (but clean-shaven) (the true tail of a bird is the diminutive ‘parson’s nose’) (and I mean his in this case, not her) (see page 243) [225] (see page 244) (Polyodon spathula) (see page 247) [1515] (see page 259) [85] (see page 265) (Diphyllodes respublica) (see page 271) (triangles point in the direction of subduction) [257] (in the north) (in the south) (see page 291) (see page 298) (2003) (see page 309) (asymmetrical) (see page 330) (Latimeria chalumnae) (see page 335) (Phycodurus equus) (see page 340) (see plate eighteen) (see the Seal’s Tale) (in this case the female sex towards hairlessness) (in this case choice by peahens) (The Blind Watchmaker, chapter eight) (airborne scent signals) (lice carry typhus and other serious diseases) (probably false, alas) (which I now, as a student of animal behaviour and a colleague of Desmond Morris, recognize as a dominance display) (who became our ancestors) (the ancestors of the chimpanzees) (or via viruses) (from which the quotation is taken) (which sometimes passes, in quasi-genetic fashion, from father to son) (think of a transmitted fashion for slimming, or elongating the neck with rings) (or braininess or nakedness) (some say) (some say) (some say, probably falsely) (for the dodo) (which he named Victoriornis imperialis and Ornithaptera soliteria) (Threskiornis solitarius) (Alice’s Dodo, Belloc’s Dodo) (if you count large) (islands like New Guinea and New Zealand) (just) (for the obvious reason which underlies the Dodo’s Tale) (rucke or rutch) (1563-1631) (which used its sixteen-metre wingspan to carry Sinbad aloft as well as elephants) (relatively) (or his real-life Arab counterparts) (see photo) (extinct) (but not the carnivorous phorusrhachoids nor various other extinct flightless giants) (a group of South American birds which can fly) (including flightless as well as flying forms) (most of them) (actually forest) (Laurasia)

(see plate nineteen) (still with Madagascar attached) (with the exception of the kiwi and, in an interesting sense which I shall come to, the ostrich) (again using the word in its geological sense of ‘give or take a few million years’) (eighty-two million years) (now submerged) (1880-1930) (I am sorry to say, because democracy is no way to establish a truth) (though they are sometimes called rises rather than ridges) (that is, contour lines of equal age) (see plate twenty) (tyres couldn’t stand the pressure) (solidified lava) (at this latitude) [296] (the asthenosphere) (they have the same date as each other, of course, because they were liquid at the same time when they gushed together out of the ridge)

(the name that unites mammals with reptiles and birds) (and toads: the distinction is not a zoologically helpful one) (and newts, which are those species that return to the water to breed) (moist, legless burrowers or swimmers, with a superficial resemblance to earthworms or snakes) (up to 250, compared to twelve in frogs) (Ensatina eschscholtzii eschscholtzii) (Dendrobates azureus) (Ichthyophis sp.) (Gymnophiona) (Anura) (Urodela) (except in secondarily evolved cases such as whales, dugongs and ichtyosaurs) (various species of the genus gastrotheca) (closely related and presumably descended from a single colonising ancestor) (Litoria nasuta) (Conraua goliath) (showing that ‘legs’ originally evolved for movement in water, not on land) (see plate twenty-one) (which is the very blotched one that we previously called Ensatina klauberi when we were considering it to be a different species) (and when, by implication, abortion should be regarded as tantamount to murder) (especially, I hope I’ll be forgiven for adding, in non-scientific subjects) (see lower picture) (from the point of view of the essentialist) (and most would say a different genus) (or him: let’s take a female and a male at alternate stops) (quite a tall order) (necessary for some purposes) (sometimes confused with Gastrophryne) (two seconds) (a very different kind of food) (sea urchins, starfish, sea cucumbers, brittle stars) (well an adult frog cell!) (it has been suggested that this first-ever experimental cloning of a vertebrate deserves a Nobel prize) (or it may even have been a sudden change) (‘progenesis’) (‘neoteny’) (Shades of Romer) (or an increase in sensitivity to the existing thyroxine)

(see the Elephant Bird’s Tale and the Dodo’s Tale) (see plate twenty-two) (Neoceratodus forsteri) (Dipnoi) (the coelacanth) (not a crab at all, but its own thing, superficially resembling a large trilobite) (familiar fish, such as trout or perch) (and presumably to ancient ancestors) (see the Gibbon’s Tale) [324] (vanity cannot help whispering)

(see plate twenty-three) (coelacanthiformes) (of which there are two living species known) (Latimeria chalumnae) (Pleuronectes platessa) (Astronesthes niger) (Esox lucius) (Serrasalmus nattereri) (Engraulis mordax) (Gymnothorax prasinus) (Lepisosteus platyrhincus) (Acipenser baeri) (Acipenseriformes) (Polypteriformes) (Semionotiformes) (Amiiformes) (Osteoglossomorpha) (Elopomorpha) (Clupeomorpha) (Ostariophysi) (Protacanthoptergii) (Stenoptergii) (Acanthopterygii) (Paracanthoptergii) (see plate twenty-four) (see plate twenty-five) (perhaps of the genus Fucus) (Nemichthyidae) (Eurypharynx pelecanoides) (usually by squeezing down the cork in the neck of the bottle) (in inverse proportions, following Boyle’s law) (now less fashionable) (arm) (pronounced, ‘sick-lid’) (‘exponential’) (Lates niloticus) (or very few) (see the Polypifer’s Tale) (named after one of Africa’s great leaders, Julius Nyerere of Tanzania) (or some equivalent) (Oxford English Dictionary) (although purist geneticists would not) (see plate twenty-six) (amphibious) (the largest one) (see the colour key at bottom right of the diagram) (all red circles) (all blue) (a cluster of small lakes close to each other and to the west of Lake Victoria) (these two small and neighbouring lakes are united for purposes of the count) (it now has twenty-six species, including fifteen endemic haplochromines) (a pressure-related sense organ far beyond our empathy but deeply meaningful to fish) (also known as A. fasciatus) (or disorder or ‘mixed-upness’) (or it may be more than an analogy) (or the small minority of states) (whatever that might mean!) (ask any dolphin) (e.g. plaice) (e.g. turbot and flounder) (see plate twenty-seven)

(see plate twenty-eight) (Carcharhinus amblyrhynchos) (Callorhynchusmilii) (Holocephali) (Squalea) (Galea) (see (whole head) (the age of dinosaurs on land)

(Manta birostris) plate twenty-nine)

(Eptatretus cirrhatus) (Petromyzon marinus) (Cephalaspidomorphi) (Myxini) (recent evidence suggests not) (school history books never fail to remind us that he died of a surfeit of them) (this stiffening rod, running the length of the back, is in most vertebrates present only in the embryo) (named, somewhat freely, after J. A. Moy-Thomas) (although they may belong to the same species) (literally everybody else) (snails, limpets, squids, etc) (all) (all) (including vertebrates) (runs along the back) (runs along the belly) (rope) (each a chain of 141 amino acids) (each a chain of 146 amino acids) (further branchings gave rise to the non-functional pseudogenes I mentioned)

(well, mostly burned in sand, actually) (where there is also an eye spot) (see the Epilogue to the Velvet Worm’s Tale) (formerly Amphioxus) (Cephalochordata) (see plate thirty) (1868-1949) (contemporary with, or identical to, at least one elephant ancestor, swift ancestor, octopus ancestor etc)

(see plate thirty-one) (or whatever is to be its adult resting place) (Urochordata) (in humans, remnants of this rod linger as the discs between our vertebrae) (of which there are about 2,000 described species) (Rhopalaea crassa)

(Enteropneusta and Pterobranchia) (Pseudo-colochirus violaceus) (Echinus esculentus) (Asterias rubens) (Ophiothnx sp.) (Cenometra bella) (Enteropneusta) (Xenoturbellida) (Pterobranchia) (Enteropneusta) (Crinoidea) (Ophiuroidea) (Asteroidea) (Echinoidea) (Holothuroidea) (Octopuses, squids and cuttlefish) (or, in a few cases, some larger number) (usually) (like our spinal cord) (as in worms and all arthropods) (or however many arms there are) (singular pedicellaria)

(every pilgrim who arrived before Rendezvous twenty-six, including us) (the huge throng who are now joining at Rendezvous twenty-six) (or lat least the anus develops close to the blastopore) (Chaetognatha) (Tardigrade) (Onychophora) (Arthropoda) (Cephalorhyncha) (Nematoda) (Nematomorpha) (Gnathifera) (Platyhelminthes) (Gastrotricha) (Brachiozoa) (Entoprocta) (Bryozoa) (Nemertea) (Mollusca) (Annelida) (Sipunculoidea) (our lot) (them over there) (Lophotrochzoa) (Arenicola sp.) (Helix aspersa) (Chaetonotus simrothi) (Pseudoceros dimidiatus) (Philodina gregaria) (Atta sp.) (Peripatopsis moseleyi) (segmented earthworms, leeches and bristleworms) (by annelids and arthropods) (by annelids and molluscs) (from a Greek word meaning roughly to get your kit off) (especially insects and spiders) (crustaceans and, in earlier times, trilobites) (centipedes, millipedes and their kind) (one of my earliest memories, before I fainted, is of being stung by a modern African scorpion) (wait for Rendezvous thirty-four) (for once the phrase is strictly apt) (Megascolides australis) (Nematos) (Tridacna) (to which name, indeed, they have contributed) (tapeworms and flukes) (Doleorthis) (by comparison) (1865-1939) (probably invented for the amusement of tourists, and said to be believed by many of them) (working on radically different principles) (concestor twenty-six) (Avocettina infans) (Chiasmodon niger) (Pleuronectes platessa) (Mola mola) (Eurypharynx pelecanoides) (see pages 340-42) [295] (see page 353) (Raja batis, top) (Bothus lunatus) (upper) (see page 359) (Sphyrna mokarran) (Pristis microdon) (see page 360) (Callorhynchus milii) (see page 363) (a stiff cartilaginous rod) (V-shaped muscle blocks) (see page 374) (Rhopalaea crassa) (see page 377) (Atta. sp.) (minim) (see page 406) (see page 411) (see page 430) (Philodena gregaria) (see page 437) (see page 451) (see page 453) (no iris) (again named for the negative effect of its mutant form) (those rather obscure deuterostomes who arrived with the echinoderms at Rendezvous twenty-five) (the ‘true’ zoological ventral side) (especially when engaging in their remarkable habit of smashing shellfish with stones on the belly) (all the time) (sea slug) (Synodontis nigriventris) (well, to be more precise, your brain) (and hence, if I am right, the ‘knowledge’ of the predominant direction of light in the real world) (I’m guessing) (in this case bird) (as Darwin speculated with his fly-catching bear) (see plate thirty-two) (though they do suck some of the sap) (the equivalent of the

mushrooms that we eat) (typically) (typically again) (Termitomyces) (though different species of the genus) (thermocouples) (sterile) (see plate thirty-three) (they must be next to each other so the lighting conditions are the same) (see plate 411) (as here) (leaving aside the fact that, in the longer term, we are all of African descent) (whatever that might mean - it certainly doesn’t mean from the Caucasus) (whatever that might mean - it certainly does not mean, as the word seems to suggest, Spanish) (and I hope I have just demonstrated that it isn’t because they are black or white!) (as opposed to some influential anthropological theories, by the way) (as happens even today) (easily) (Anticipations, 1902) (Mass.) (though not obliterated) (or was black) (relatively) (or equivalent) (as we would now call it, although ‘mutation’ had not been coined when Bateson wrote) (‘dew lover’) (anterior/posterior) (dorsal/ventral) (and others like it) (we are now, of course, talking about the embryo’s own genes, no longer the mother’s) (T1, T2 and T3) (eleven in some insects, eight in Drosophilia, depending on how you reckon the genitals at the rear end) (in the sense already excused) (perhaps the designer was having an off day) (para) (see plate thirty-four) (Tribolium) (better still) (upper back vertebrae with ribs) (lower back vertebrae without ribs) (tail) (most anterior) (fourteen) (see Rendezvous twenty-nine and thirty-one respectively) (they aren’t due to join us until rendezvous twenty-eight) (mouth versus opposite-to-mouth) (see the Lamprey’s Tale) (the humerus in the arm, femur in the leg) (radius and ulna in the arm, tibia and fibula in the leg) (and even sea urchins can be thought of as starfish who have curled their arms up in a five-pronged arch, meeting at the tips and zipped together down the sides) (so far) (or the globin genes) (misleadingly) (see page 395) (see plate thirty-five) (1866-1955) (Rotifer vulgaris) (understandably, no doubt) (see page 440) (never without females, by the way. Unlike eggs, sperms are too small to go at it alone. Asexual reproduction in animals means dispensing with males) (or whatever the number was - the equivalent of twenty-three in us) (or chromosomes that had once been paired) [your father] (see opposite page) (see plate thirty-six) (see plate 452) (over a metre in some cases) (‘stink stone’) (see plate thirty-seven) (alas, not named after the Japanese verse form) [264] (see page 460) (what are destined to become) (relatively) (feather-like relatives of sea anemones) (see plate thirty-eight) (that’s the phylum, remember,

to which the vertebrates belong) (a slander I would protest more vigorously if the name sounded less of a compliment than it does) (‘rendezvous’) (or rather the genes that make them) (by carefully choosing our clock genes, and avoiding species such as rodents with exceptional rates of mutation) (see the Redwood’s Tale) (birds, crocodiles, snakes, etc) (which enters into our calibration calculation) (I am not one of them, as I have already made clear)

(about 320 described species) (ten described species) (Nemertodermatida) (Acoela) (or lots of anuses) (unicellular algae) (by disappearing into the sand) (sea anemones, corals, jellyfish etc) (comb jellies) (see anemones and their kind) (quite) (three layers of cells) (two) (‘ectoderm’ and ‘endoderm’) (they add ‘mesoderm’ in the middle)

(the c is silent) (some were once even confused with plants) (or sometimes nematocysts, but this is strictly just one variety of cnidocyte) (osmotic pressure, if you want the details) (they joined us along with almost everybody else at Rendezvous twenty-six) (jellyfishes, corals, sea anemones and the like) (comb jellies) (or sometimes both) (see text) (Urticina lofotensis) (Aequorea sp.) (Medusozoa) (Anthozoa) (which are, of course, members of the clone) (see plate thirty-nine) (an American colony in the western Pacific) (which I dare not think is more than coincidence) (see plate forty) (twice) (much of it having passes through fish guts) (after his travel book on the Voyage of the Beagle) (while rising in other places, as he vividly knew from finding marine fossils high in the Andes) (see plate forty-two) (see the Mixotrich’s Tale)

(disputably) (Ctenophora) (see plate forty-three) (or strictly biradially) (represented by its single species, Trichoplax) (Placozoa) (who, incidentally, retained anti-Darwinian sympathies long after he should have known better) (see Taq’s Tale) (sponges)

(some authors also except Trichoplax, the little animal we met at Rendezvous thirty) (like a cilium, only larger) (Porifera) (‘metazoans’) (though Trichoplax may have diverged even earlier) (Aplysina fistularis) (and there’s more to it, as we shall see in the Sponge’s Tale) (that’s what makes bath sponges spongy) (see plate forty-four) (metazoans) (protozoans)

(Choanoflagellata) (which the great man found irksome) (he sardonically called God a ‘gaseous vertebrate’) (adult) (which happens to be green) (we shall meet them at rendezvous thirty-seven) (which some of them have to this day) (a ‘syncitium’) (or should we stick our necks out and call them choanocytes) (or, as some would prefer, acellular - having a body not divided into constituent cells)

(that’s putting it mildly) (can you spot the difference?) (Mesomycetozoea) (so collapsing Rendezvous thirty-two and thirty-three into one) (not fish at all, of course, but crustaceans)

(about 40,000 described species) (about 22,000) (Morchella esculenta) (Phallus impudicus) (Glomus sp.) (Hyacinthoides nonscripta) (Mucor sp.) (Microsporidia) (Chytridiomycota) (Zygomycota one, including Mucorales) (Zygomycota two, including Mortierella) (Glomeromycota) (Basidiomycota) (Ascomycota) (mushrooms, or any of dozens of species of related fungi) (we met other syncitia in the early development of Drosophilia, and in Hadzi’s theory of the origin of the Metazoa) (or yeast cells) (in the case of soil fungi) (in the case of cheese-making fungi) (in the case of wine-making yeasts) (if he happens to suffer from athlete’s foot) (see plate forty-five) (or toadstool, or bracket) (Ascomycota) (Basidiomycota) (uselessly and even counterproductively) (thrush) (pronounced LIE-kins) (see the Beaver’s Tale)

(much smaller) (in British English) (in American English) (plus another unrelated group of ‘slime moulds’, the acrasids, which will join us at Rendezvous thirty-seven) (Amoebozoa) (the front end as defined by its crawling direction) (or pre-enactments)

(single-celled algae, with chloroplasts whose morphology is very similar to free-living cyanobacteria) (see Rendezvous thirty-seven) (Rhodymenia palmata) (Volvox aurelia) (Sequoiadendron giganteum) (Glaucophyta) (Viridiplantae) (Rhodophyta) (ultimately) (solid and compact) (high surface area, hence straggly and unwieldy) (including green algae) (enable Java in your browser) (brain mass simply proportional to body mass brain area proportional to body mass) (Kcal/h; log scale) (cold-blooded organisms) (warm-blooded organisms) (g; log scale) (the Handyman’s Tale spells out the rationale for log-log plots) (‘large’ here means anything heavier than about a millionth of a gram!) (mammals and birds) (¾) (i.e. the size of the transport system) (except I doubt that it’s allowed, nor should it be) (see plate forty-seven) (the first note is ignored because obviously, it can be neither up nor down) (calling it ‘Danny Boy’ - the name by which Americans know it because of some twentieth-century words that were set to it) (around which the Earth spins) (by a rather different process, pale magnetism can be observed in sedimentary rock, too) (see pages 531-536) (a metaphor to help us understand their real behaviour, which is much stranger) (and thirty neutrons) (and 118 neutrons) (arbitrarily designated positive) (i.e. chemical) (acting via the electrons) (since the mass of electrons is negligible and a neutron weighs approximately the same as a proton) (one proton and one neutron) (one proton and two neutrons) (corresponding to the two protons lost) (with ninety-two protons and 146 neutrons) (with ninety protons and 144 neutrons) (atomic number nineteen) (atomic number eighteen) (as it happens, which in turn changes into zirconium ninety) (a gas) (half of a half) (4.5 billions years) (i.e. most probable) (plants are only ‘interested’ in chemistry, not the nuclear properties of atoms)

(1870-1953) (1897) (Chromalveolates) (Rhizana) (Discicristates) (indicated by the dotted arrows) (see text) (Heterokonts) (Globigenna sp.) (Ecklonia radiata) [13] (see its tale) (see page 460) (see page 481) (see page 483) (see page 484) (Labroides dimidiatus) (Parupeneus rubescens) (see page 488) (Cestum veneris) (see page 493) (see page 500) (see page 512) (the network of white threads) (see page 521) (see page 526) (see page 589) (see page 601) (pinhole eye) (Phacops, compound eye made of calcite lenses - some of these can be seen in position in the top part of the eye) (Simulium damnosum, compound eye) (Sparisoma viride, fish eye) (Bubo virginianus, corneal eyes) (see page 603) (helped by the majority of their siblings who are destined to be sterile) (i.e. more cockroach-like) (without oxygen) (with oxygen) (singular ‘flagellum’ and, unlike cilia, they often are) (the distance between wave-crests) (b) (br) (s) [49] (surprisingly)

(nucleated) (in plants) (ultimately from plants) (different) (and nothing else) (including Archaea) (apart from lightning strikes and human industrial chemists) (singular ‘stoma’) (originally solar) (undulipodia) (or, rather, up for research in the next couple of years) (liking it very hot indeed) (see the Great Historic Rendezvous) (then called Archaebacteria)

(see the Gibbon’s Tale) (cross A) (e.g. cross B) (proteobacteria) (planctobacteria) (Sphingobacteria) (Eobacteria) (high G and C Gram positive) (Firmicutes (low G and C Gram positive)) (bats) (the Duckbill’s Tale) (the Beaver’s Tale) (limpets) (some snakes) (wasps, snakes and scorpions) (cnidarians) (squids) (fossilised solar energy) (or other smooth, hard surface) (virtual) (not to mention nerves) (or protozoan) (Type Three Secretory System) (if not Darwin’s) (it is by far the most abundant gas in our atmosphere) (as blue-green algae) [113] (or Eu-) (themselves transcribed from DNA genes) (ultimately) (leaves)

(‘bone to his bone’ - such wonderful economy of language) (emphasis added) (and in my view rightly) (and I stress relatively) (in another letter to Hooker) (and oh! What a big if!) (following Aristotle in this as in so much else) (literally) (compounds of carbon) (or equivalent) (methane, ammonia, water vapour and hydrogen) (‘lightning’) (metaboliser) (replicator) (and in my view mistaken) (from the cells point of view) (building blocks of DNA and RNA) (twenty of them are building blocks of natural proteins) (m RNA) (t RNA) (codon) (AATE) (‘letter’) (see The Selfish Gene) (no relation to Mark, except as established by Y-chromosome analysis) (waterfleas) (practice is a different matter, and formidably difficult) (see plate forty-eight) (the ‘Watson-Crick pairing rules’ discovered by those two inspired young men) (phage for short) (completely different) (and population, by the way, is exactly the right word even though we are talking about free-floating molecules, not viruses or organisms of any kind) (or hopes, we might rather say) (so far is natural selection from being a process of blind chance) (hence their blood-red colour)

(they’d break under the weight) (and to various ‘false sabretooths’ among the placental carnivores) (see plate forty-nine) (see plate fifty) (for better resolution of detail than low-pitched) (accuracy is improved because early parts of each echo are distinguishable from late parts by their pitch) (subconscious) (and some blind human individuals have learned it) (injecting poison hypodermically through a sharp-pointed tube) (cone shells) (stingrays) (stonefish) (male platypus) (stinging nettles) (I would) (obviously!) (caustic and boiling hot) (moths, attracted by the fake sexual scent of a female moth, which the spider synthesises) (or bola) (much thinner) (but not the chameleon’s) (silk is the universal solution to any spider problem) (reprinted in A Devil’s Chaplain) (two legs on one side, one leg on the other) (spiracles) (eleven times independently!) (written proceedings of the House of Commons) (and prey and hosts) (pronounced design-oid, not dezzig-noid)

(as opposed to a ‘skyhook’: the analogy is to the man-made lifting machine, not the bird) (and I would bet the only cranes there have ever been, or ever will be, in the universe) (evolution on the grand scale of millions of years) (evolution on the scale of individual lifetimes) (although the universality of Hox genes argues for some sort of fore and aft serial organisation as a predecessor) (worm-like amphibians) (at least) (compare a lobster with a centipede) (leaves and flowers are modules) (‘genes’) (especially the final chapter, ‘Rediscovering the Organism’, of The Extended Phenotype) (germ-line cells) (somatic cells) (though the very meaning of species is in doubt for bacteria)

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