When I was a kid I used to love a documentary called Planet of Life. I think it was from the Discovery Channel. I had it on VHS and I would watch it over and over and over again.
From that series, I’d learned that one of vertebrate’s oldest enemies was the long forgotten Anomalocaris. This beast would have been large enough to frighten human swimmers today, as it undulated and flapped through the water and reached out with its stubby claspers. Since it could bite through a trilobite, I’d imagine it could leave a nasty little wound on a swimmer, maybe nip off a toe if it wanted.
I’d also learned that little cells making oxygen and photosynthesis effectively destroyed the world and replaced it with a new one filled with creatures that had mutated to survive in a new toxic atmosphere. To this day, Earth’s original inhabitants are confined to the anaerobic layers of water, soil, mud… and animal bowels.
I discovered that even before that, some of those inhabitants had been absorbed into others… enslaved, or merged over time as over-dependent parasites or symbiotes.
Eventually plants filled the seas and the land, and on land they lead the mutants with them.
And when the corpses of plants burned, nearly all the mutants died.
Later, when the mutants had recovered and grown too big, the plants changed themselves into new forms. Flowers bloomed, deciduous trees replaced conifers and some of the largest of those beasts went extinct.
But the plants had a purpose for many of the survivors. They shaped them into sexual vehicles, into caregivers and vehicles.
Was it a coincidence that the last of those great beasts died as they started to adapted to eating the new forms?
Is it a coincidence that man happens to be a species that responds so well to the nutrition, scent, sight, and flavor of so so many of the new forms?
I read recently that scientists are now working on getting plants to grow in Lunar and Martian soils.
Nightmare Fuel 2017, Day 7