Sunday, August 11, 2013

When Miss G and I Split up in Evolution

Evolution is amazing! Since about two months I am deeply obsessed with Miss G's and my prehistoric ancestors. Before that I had always assumed, dinosaurs were my ancestors as well, but this is clearly not  the case. They are Miss G's ancestors indeed, but mammal-like reptiles had already evolved long before dinosaurs. Once there were reptiles, which weren't dinosaurs yet, before evolution split them: On one side the dinosaurs and birds, on the other mammal-like reptiles and mammals. So when did Miss G's and my ancestors actually split up?
Petrolacosaurus, earliest reptile known, so one of those ancestors Miss G and I sisterly share
Reptiles developed from amphibians about 320-310 million years ago. Around 300 million years ago there were already reptiles which clearly were ancestors of mammals, but not of dinosaurs. Ergo, Miss G's and my both roots must be about 300 million years old. Since 300 million years ago Miss G's ancestors, the dinosaurs, evolved their way, whereas we mammals our way. Each of us went 300 million years and if you add that together, Miss G and I are separated by 600 years evolutional developing. So how comes we're still so amazingly similar?

We both have two feet, two eyes, a pair of ears and voices. Miss G and I can talk to each other and
Velociraptor, of the raptor-family, birds evolved from
we do understand each other. Her wings are not much different from my arms, they only have another function. Well, 65 million years ago her dinosaur ancestors, the raptors, really had arms to grab their prey. So actually, Miss G's wings are arms, used for flight. The most fascinating resemblance between Miss G and me are our voices. I've never been surprised at the fact that cats sound so very human. You can really confuse a meowing cat with a crying baby. And this is not too astonishing, because cats evolved just about 25 million years ago. Early humans probably listened to the meowing of saber-toothed cat cubs at night and felt like they sounded like their own babies. But to hear sounds like that from Miss G really astonishes me. This bird sounds amazingly human.

In the Cambrian period (541.0 - 485.4 million years ago) eyes were new evolvement. Critters suddenly were able to see, to find their prey or avoid predators. So, as Miss G and I split 300 million years didn't we divide more gravely? I might have developed three eyes and Miss G even four. But this doesn't seem to be the concept of evolution—or in case you like that better, of creation. It very much looks like we're all one big family and Miss G and I are part of it. We are relatives and there's really big love between the two of us.

One last point: I heard some scientist assume, aliens from another planet couldn't look like people. Why, maybe they do! Doesn't it look like evolution follows a certain concept? After all this might be the evolutional concept of the whole universe. Well, maybe the people from another planet would look a little more like Miss G, but I think they would look like people. Smart little guys with feathers.

By Clarissa
Prehistoric paintings by the ingenious Nobu Tamura


  1. Hello Miss G! I just saw a news story on the web that you might be interested in reading.

    Does any of this sound familiar? :)

    1. That "razor sharp beak" is a terrible exaggeration. I wouldn't be afraid to catch any seagull with my bare hands. Experience -- you gotta know how..... Nonetheless, Miss G. basically beats me by weeping -- it sounds like a desperate cat and kills me right away:

      We had fights, I turned out to be superior, and she got mad like hell and stubbornly kept fighting back fiercely. But finally you come to a point, when she starts crying and that kinda breaks my heart. Though interestingly, if it's about my principles and I put my foot down, she respects it right away.

      Miss G. once pecked a German shepherd, which tried to sniff at her, right between the eyes. I was very frightened and since don't allow her to approach any dog. But there's no doubt about it, if a dog is real tough, the gull could be dead pretty soon.

    2. So this is what that article left out: Seagulls are competing social animals and aren't all winners. It's part of their nature to accept if someone else is stronger. As human you gotta show 'em! But if you're afraid of their beak in the first place, you show them you're actually the weaker part. Same mistake many dog owners make. The dog will take over then.

      I'd guess, that article just sells by being quite a bit too sensational.

    3. Back to topic: A velociraptor would be a totally different 'bird' -- kinda killer-turkey with razor-sharp teeth. I'd run pretty fast. :oD

  2. I know that gulls have a pecking order and that in the wild, they're always fighting and squabbling with each other... but you don't hit her, do you?

    1. Well, if she's annoying me too much, I sometimes yell at her, which is enough to make her cut out what she's not allowed to do. If I step in with my hands, I mainly grab her and she really doesn't like to be clutched that way. She very much hates to be picked up off her feet, which I basically try to avoid, but at times I do restrain her that way. But even if I just criticize her, it might happen, she starts crying and then I start comforting her right away, to get her out of that depression. Which by the way works great -- I have routine in changing her to happy.

      We had more conflicts years ago, today we live in real harmony on most days. I know her and she knows me and my rules and that works.

    2. When you said that you'd had fights, I got a bit worried. Sorry.

      I once picked up a Great Black-back Gull (I was being a stupid kid). That bird had a sharp beak. Made my fingers bleed...

      Have you seen this forum thread yet, by the way? There's a lot of info here from people who keep gulls in captivity...

    3. I'm a vegetarian and generally consider animals my neighbor, I'm morally obliged to love.

      Kids' fingers of course are far more delicate than my horny skin. I'd say, a gull's pair of 'blades' are just as sharp as a very blunt knife: You can cut onions and tomatoes with it, but it's no fun and more squeezing through than cutting.
      Basically they snap their victim, then pull back and that way even a very blunt knife can cut your fingers.
      Great black-backed gulls of course have a bit more beak power, but if you move your hand into the biting beak, it can hardly hurt you and you can gently wrestle the animal down, fixating the head. Birds can get extremely mad and totally lose fear, but you have always the option to advance into their throat, which will make them feel like throwing up. That'll end any aggression. ;o)

  3. How is Miss G doing? I sometimes look at your blog, but I see that it has not been updated in 2 years. Is she okay? I used to watch your videos on youtube.

    1. She's doing great, now 21 years old, so we're 21 years together as well. We do everything together--whenever I go out she's coming with me. Mostly I make music in a club and she's always welcome there too. People ask me, why I wouldn't leave her at home. They have no clue how much she likes to go there and hates to be left alone at home. Each time I leave for the supermarket for just 30 mins she shows me. Once there was a mixer who had a little pug in our club. That was funny: The pug was barking at her, then when Miss G barked, the little dog hid under the table. I guess he found a barking bird too creepy. LOL
      Her likings in things food change--she likes veggies better and better and eats a lot of it. I don't force the food I cook on her--she's always telling me, "Gimme-gimme, I want that too!"

    2. I am working now more on my official website, it's a lot about music, and that's why I'm rarely here. At least I added sounds to this blog this summer, like I did for my other online media. :o)