21 November 2006

Biomes and the Tree of Life

stack four billion
dymaxion worldmaps

representing all of
earth's history

with the poles
as two separate vertical lines

an equator halfway between

ocean temperatures generally
increasing towards the equator

and slowly drifting continents
breaking up and merging
(maybe three such cycles
in the last 3 billion years?)

forming a system of
irregular columns
on our 3D (actually 4D) map

climate and terrain roughly divide
these irregular columns
into dozens of
standard biomes
supporting characteristic ecologies

each biome gradually drifting

each species
tending to track one biome
to fill one sub-biome

species that master
a second biome
tending to split
into a second species

(ancestral species rank-able
by the number of biomes
eventually colonised)

rarely merging biomes
forcing clashes-to-the-death
between more-or-less-distant

humans uniquely, continually
refining their toolkits
for colonising hostile biomes