If you can read this, either the style sheet didn't load or you have an older browser that doesn't support style sheets. Try clearing your browser cache and refreshing the page.

(io9)   The illustrated evolutionary history of dragons   (io9.com) divider line 26
    More: Cool, dragons, Evolutionary history, ecology and evolutionary biology, legendary creatures, evolutionary trees, nucleotides, polymerase chain reactions, speciations  
•       •       •

5949 clicks; posted to Geek » on 21 Aug 2012 at 9:58 AM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



26 Comments   (+0 »)
   
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest

Archived thread
 
2012-08-21 10:15:44 AM  
This is significantly less cool than I was expecting.
 
2012-08-21 10:27:44 AM  
Haven't looked yet but Dragonlance better be in there.
 
2012-08-21 10:34:10 AM  
Horribly incomplete.

Looks like someone with Parkinsons tried to draw a circle and said, "Ohh, let's throw some dragons around the edges."

they're missing several species of dragons and there is no evolutionary history. Fish+Mammal, BAM, 4 types of Dragons who are all modern species and not the proto-drakes they evolved from. And Oriental dragons have no relation to any of the others?

This 'phylogeny' just makes my nerd brain hurt.
 
2012-08-21 10:52:46 AM  
Judging by the number of Fark comments I should have guessed this article was most disappointing.
 
2012-08-21 10:54:34 AM  
Looks like this was a poor excuse to sell t-shirts...

Seriously, could they at least show us some of the pictures they used to compose the phylogeny, maybe explain the common traits that tied them to the next branch on the tree.
 
2012-08-21 10:57:46 AM  
JOOR ZAH FRUL
 
2012-08-21 10:58:59 AM  

Spindle: Looks like this was a poor excuse to sell t-shirts...


All it really wants to make me do is go over to Hotdiggitydemon's page and watch the evolution of Spike in a Stoner.
 
2012-08-21 11:34:51 AM  
nice article re: the illustrated history... with no illustrations..... FAIL
 
2012-08-21 11:40:45 AM  
Get Michael Whelan involved and try again
 
2012-08-21 11:55:37 AM  
images.indiebound.com

Dragons are clearly highly evolved creatures. 

/Taco Tuesday!
 
2012-08-21 11:55:39 AM  
i205.photobucket.com
What a dragon may look like


/ 27E
//used to work on the sights 
/// SU36P
 
2012-08-21 12:13:09 PM  
She's gonna have a lot of cats some day.
 
2012-08-21 12:25:26 PM  

Onkel Buck: [i205.photobucket.com image 699x506]
What a dragon may look like


Is that for you or for the mistress? oO
 
2012-08-21 12:26:34 PM  
The evolution of dragons better end with Leroy Green.
 
2012-08-21 12:31:09 PM  

Cymbal: Haven't looked yet but Dragonlance better be in there.


She stopped at 'the early 20th century' which makes sense or otherwise she would end up including an endless number of derivitive versions of dragons from Dungeons and Dragons, fantasy/ sci-fi and 'LOL dragons and unicorns are so cool'.

/also, I liked it.
//haters gunna hate
 
2012-08-21 12:39:48 PM  
What a modern day dragon might look like:
img12.imageshack.us
 
2012-08-21 12:56:00 PM  
It IS a neat experiment to get folks into phylogeny, but (speaking for myself) I probably would have done things a wee bit differently as far as draconic phylogeny goes.

a) Their phylogeny not include some dracoforms that could well be transitional between "Eastern" and "Western" dragons (speaking of the North American dracoforms, things like uktena and piasa and even old Quetzalcoatl) that could fill out the phylogeny nicely. It's even possible that an uktenid-type could be the ancestral form of dracoforms, as it has some characteristics of Eastern (general body form, manes in some descriptions, "crystal"/sensory organ in forehead possibly connected with the "pineal eye") and Western (breathing fire/spitting highly toxic gas, extreme territoriality, (feathered) wings) dracoforms--which would have some fairly major implications for phylogenetic classification.

b) They didn't seem to take into account that "mammaliform adaptions" in lungids could well be a case of parallelism (also, lungids seem to lack some very specific adaptations that would define them as mammals--specifically, true hair and production of milk--in traditional Linnaean definitions of the class). It just seems to me that more "fiddling" has to be done to place a lungid in to mammaliforms in general--IF it were related to mammals, it'd be very basal, around the beginning of therapsids--possibly even before therapsids developed fur (which would make explaining lungid scales difficult; you could have something akin to pangolins, but that would involve independent evolution of integument...the point of "split" would depend on whether lungids sweat and the point where certain sweat glands evolved into lactation glands in therapsids and mammaliforms).

c) Limb number modification in chordates and in bilaterian animals in general is known to be linked to the HOX gene; increases in limb number are well documented in non-chordate animals, and terminal phalange numbers are known to be flexible in temnospondyls and early "amphibians" (sensu lato) and lepidiosaurs (the clade of sauropsids including lizards and snakes) are known to have a lot of genetic "flexibility" including in mutations in the HOX gene. While the direction in amniotes tends towards reduction of limb number (and they even hint at this with wyverns and serpents!) it's not impossible it could also lead to increase in limb number, especially if proto-dragons actually represented a third radiation of amniotes. (This is, of course, making the big assumption that hexapod dracoforms are the primitive condition.)

d) Another possibility for draconic wings could well be modified ribs (interestingly, this seems to be the tack a lot of the recent Dungeons and Dragons art takes)--not unknown in evolutionary history, and we have living examples of "gliders" based on modified ribs (including the ironically named Draco--you'd actually have to use Drakon to refer to proper flying scalybutts). Again, this has some fairly major implications for dracoform evolution.

e) Based on the traditional morphology of their eggs and other body features--and for that matter, doubly so if American "dracoforms" are included--dragons would define quite clearly as sauropsids of some sort, and quite possibly as archosaurs or archosauromorphs. Draconic scales, for one, could well be a type of modified feather (they don't shed skin like lepidiosaurs, and whilst they do have scutes like crocs and some dinosaurs they also in mythos pretty consistently molt scales, whether Western, Eastern or American; there is also a type of protofeather development that could well develop into a scale of sorts) and tend to have harder shells on their eggs, and a number are explicitly feathered or dinofuzzed (the "hair" on lungids could well be dinofuzz)--and feathers/dinofuzz ARE increasingly recognised as a defining characteristic of archosaurs if not archosauromorphs.

(No, I am not insinuating we redo cladistics of mythical scalybutts, but this is something I've played with after way the hell too much Shadowrun and all :D The little mental exercise of "How WOULD you classify dragons, cladistically?"...of course, this was before a certain Shadowrun sourcebook came out and revealed all the different draconic "species" are actually the result of some very interesting epigenetics from imprinting on "rookery parents" :D)

/yes, sometimes I get bored. REALLY bored
//then I go into thought experiments like this :D
///also not mentioned, and something I've occasionally seen played around with in fanfiction--the "Reverse Pern Scenario" where dracoforms are actually a stranded xenobionta--an alien life form--from worlds with hexapodal amniote-analogues; that's as likely as anything else, methinks
 
2012-08-21 01:01:43 PM  

Great Porn Dragon: It IS a neat experiment to get folks into phylogeny, but (speaking for myself) I probably would have done things a wee bit differently as far as draconic phylogeny goes.
...


Um....This. Also, Draconomicon was a great source for physiology and divergent but parallel biology.
 
2012-08-21 01:04:57 PM  
Erm...SCIENCE fiction, not fanfiction (though I've also seen it there too)...sci-fi, where dracoforms are stranded aliens. Derp. Must Not Post Before Coffee. :D

Still, though...this is a nifty mental exercise, and this IS a neat idea to get people into phylogeny and such...sort of a "gateway" to show people how it worked in the old days and how it works now :D

Then again, I'm the sort of schmuck who actually has a copy of "Dracopedia" at my night stand--basically imagine someone's idea of a natural history book of dracoforms (the traditional mythological sort as drawn by recent D&D artists AND theorised evolution of them) if dragons had survived to the modern era, which is in and of itself a clever disguise for a well-written guide on how to draw dragons well :D, and you get the idea. Yes, I'm a sucker for this sort of stuff :D

Still no uktenas or piasas or "underwater panthers", though. I'd love for someone besides White Wolf to give American dragonlike critters (that aren't Quetzalcoatl in his form as Ehecatl) some love :D Might have to resort to it myself...
 
2012-08-21 01:08:03 PM  

Raug the Dwarf: Great Porn Dragon: It IS a neat experiment to get folks into phylogeny, but (speaking for myself) I probably would have done things a wee bit differently as far as draconic phylogeny goes.
...

Um....This. Also, Draconomicon was a great source for physiology and divergent but parallel biology.


Yup--I have to admit this was one of my favourite bits of Draconomicon, actually--the colour text on draconic evolution and biology (and was a very interesting image, again, of how things could well have plausibly gone in the evolution of dracoforms).

(Seriously, there are two things that hook me in if you're doing sci-fi or fantasy--this sort of stuff (parallel evolution and biology) and really alien aliens :D I also tend to be a fan of the Snaiad sci-fi-art-verse done by Nemo Ramjet and others, and Barlowe's art books as well for the same reasons :D)
 
2012-08-21 01:52:01 PM  
img.gawkerassets.com

Three things came to mind when I saw this.

1: "So when someone brags that they are hung like a dragon, this is what they mean."
2: Lion is DEFINITELY saying "no".
3: So THAT was where chimeras come from!

/Yeah, I need help.
 
2012-08-21 02:38:36 PM  

Great Porn Dragon: ///also not mentioned, and something I've occasionally seen played around with in fanfiction--the "Reverse Pern Scenario" where dracoforms are actually a stranded xenobionta--an alien life form--from worlds with hexapodal amniote-analogues; that's as likely as anything else, methinks


I believe Barbara Hambly's "Dragonsbane" also touches on the concept.
 
2012-08-21 03:44:40 PM  
No Trogdor?

Sad


Can't post it from my phone
 
2012-08-21 04:12:25 PM  

washington-babylon: [img.gawkerassets.com image 640x360]

Three things came to mind when I saw this.

1: "So when someone brags that they are hung like a dragon, this is what they mean."
2: Lion is DEFINITELY saying "no".
3: So THAT was where chimeras come from!

/Yeah, I need help.


Dragon penis wasn't what I was expecting as the first image to pop on screen.
 
2012-08-21 08:47:09 PM  
www3.obamiconme.pastemagazine.com
 
2012-08-22 04:31:46 AM  

Great Porn Dragon: It IS a neat experiment to get folks into phylogeny, but (speaking for myself) I probably would have done things a wee bit differently as far as draconic phylogeny goes...


So when you say it's incomplete, you're saying you'd like to stick your dragon in her phyogeny, if I know what you mean

/and I think I do
 
Displayed 26 of 26 comments

View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest


This thread is archived, and closed to new comments.

Continue Farking
Submit a Link »
On Twitter





In Other Media


  1. Links are submitted by members of the Fark community.

  2. When community members submit a link, they also write a custom headline for the story.

  3. Other Farkers comment on the links. This is the number of comments. Click here to read them.

  4. Click here to submit a link.

Report