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Synapsids - the stem mammals

A307 Synapsids – The Stem-Mammals
All forms of life mutate into slightly different forms, often into many different forms. This process is known as evolutionary radiation. The earth is continually changing. Some of the mutations result in characteristics that permit a species to survive in a new environment. Others lack it, so they perish. The result is that one species eventually replaces another. This process is well demonstrated by the fact that no terrestrial vertebrate is known to have survived for more than two million years.
   Around 324 million years ago, some sauropsids (early reptiles) developed unique characteristics, ones found in modern day mammals. They have been described as being "more dog than frog". They were the first synapsids. Taking advantage of an abundance of new food sources, they radiated into many different forms. They were the dominate terrestrial vertebrates for the next forty million years. Then, they were all but wiped out by the Permian Extinction Event, 251 million years ago. Their ecological niche was filled by the sauropsids as they radiated into the dinosaurs, pterosaurs and huge sea animals.
   The reptiles ruled the Earth until falling victim to the Cretaceous Extinction Event, 65 million years ago. The tables then turned. Many animals became extinct, including the dinosaurs. The few surviving synapsids quickly radiated into modern day mammals.
    This multi-faceted poster provides a comprehensive overview of the synapsids. It introduces each of the synapsids groups and shows many species, each accompanied by an informative caption. Few animals have radiated so quickly into so many different forms. Taking advantage of that, this poster also presents the synapsids as a classic example of evolutionary radiation, which becomes the poster’s theme. It is carefully explained. This title shows how the first tetrapods (terrestrial vertebrates) radiated into the synapsids, and how the synapsids later radiated into mammals. Thus this poster is also a comprehensive prehistory of the mammals. This unique and totally original presentation of interrelated information has never before been presented in any media.

STATUS: Preliminary research and design complete. There are very few illustrators who are qualified to create images of these critters, as they lack detailed knowledge of their unique physical characteristics, essential to creating accurate images of them. We have been very fortunate in finding a paleontologist-illustrator, who is very familiar with the synapsids. Problem is that he spends most of his time out on expeditions, resulting in our never knowing when we will receive the next images. We have been patient, because the result is worth it, but we cannot schedule a completion date.

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