So I have two problems with this challenge : (1) the scope of this blog is confined to my back garden (2) I live in a suburb of London where you would struggle even to find relics of the past century. In fact, I would go so far as to say that the back garden of my house, built in the early 1930s, is as historical as it gets around here ...
At first, there were snails .... primitive limpet-like snails date back to about 600 million years ago.
|baby snail on a poppy leaf|
|one of the more attractive slugs in my garden|
Being a "scientist", my beliefs are based on data that I have studied. I have observed snails and slugs co-existing in my garden; one day I'll peer at a snail stuck to the under-side of a hellebore leaf, the next day I'll uncover a slug soaking up the moisture retained under a stone. To me, one creature doesn't seem advanced or superior compared to the other, they are just doing their own thing (which mostly involves nibbling at my favourite plants).
Mosses evolved about 350 million years ago, whereas grasses are relatively new on the scene becoming widespread about 55 million years ago, 10 million years after dinosaurs became extinct. Well, that's what paleontologists thought until they found grass in dinosaur droppings.
|moss is a gymnosperm (non-flowering plant)|
|grass is a monocot while clover is a dicot|
It is hypothesised that the evolution of grasses led to an increase in grazing animals, which opened up the landscape in preparation for human existence.
The humans' ability to manipulate tools to extract bone marrow (brain food) from carcasses resulted in increased intelligence and more ingenious ways of using tools, setting up a feedback loop. This theory made sense until bones, pre-dating humans, which seem to have been crushed by stone tools were discovered.
Even so, humans have used their intelligence to change nature for better and for worse.
|hybrid tea rose grews amongst wild rose bushes|
What this human has concluded in this landscape is that :
(1) we are lucky to be living in a forgiving era where species adapted for different conditions can live side-by-side
(2) small changes on a continuous basis make the biggest difference in the long run. You only need to watch a plant growing to understand this.
I'm linking this post to Donna's meme Word for Wednesday : EVOLUTION / EVOLVE
Please check out the other posts at : http://gardenwalkgardentalk.com/2011/10/18/word-for-wednesday-evolution-and-evolve/