Tag Archives: phylogeny


tyler rhodes evolution trilobite tree kindergarten 2013


Late last year I got a group of kindergarteners to “evolve” some “trilobites”. The end results are pretty astounding, I think, considering they probably had no visual or mental reference of what a trilobite is, and yet they came up with drawings that could conceivably pass for real animals.

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Evolution! THE GAME!

For the past month or so I’ve been trying to make a sort of interactive ‘game’ based off of the evolution drawings where you can walk around and explore. I don’t really know what I’m doing, and all I have at the moment are some plants, but it’s definitely strange and interesting so far! Here’s how it looks at the moment.

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Orchids! At the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden!



Oh, by the way, my Orchid Evolution! animation is finished, and is currently on loop in the conservatory at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden!  You can get more info here http://www.lewisginter.org/blog/2013/05/28/orchid-evolution-entertainment/ and read more about the process behind it in one of my previous posts, here https://evolutionanimation.wordpress.com/2013/03/04/orchids-bees-and-bee-vision/

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New Phylogenetic Trees!

tyler rhodes evolution phylogenetic tree extendedtyler-rhodes-evolution-phylogenetic-tree-extended-app.

Here are my extended trees with brand new creatures! I’ve done a view artworks myself referencing some of these newer creatures, but it took me until now to tie them all together. Mostly I took the existing tree, but started new lineages beginning where the other trees ended, effectively creating 12 generations instead of 6 in those lines. The red circle denotes a separate lineage from that point in another offshoot, which you can see in the second image there.

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Orchids, Bees, and Bee-Vision!

While at the Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens here in Richmond, I’ve been evolving some Orchids. You can see me going through part of the process in that video there, but here’s the phylogenetic tree of the flowers as well. At the 2nd generation the bees are introduced, along with ‘bee vision’ which is a red filter in our case. Bee’s actually see far more colors than people can (especially the ultraviolet) so they would probably see things that looked more blue or purple, but the red filters worked well in our case. If you look up ‘what bee’s see’ or ultraviolet photos of flowers, you can see a more realistic depiction of what a bee would see when they look at a plant. This should also give you an idea

For us, the colors blue as well as darker colors in general stand out a lot more than something like red, which would appear invisible. The flowers also began to look more like bees, as is the case of the actual bee orchid, a flower which has evolved to look so much like bees that actual bees try to mate with it and get stuck with pollen instead.

800px-Orchidaceae_-_Ophrys_apifera-4I’ve included a ‘bee vision’ version of the tree as well, to give you an idea of how the flowers looked through the hand lenses. You can see how the very first generation before the bee’s are introduced to the game have almost invisible flowers.tyler-rhodes-lewis-ginter-botanical-gardens-orchid-evolution-treebee tyler-rhodes-lewis-ginter-botanical-gardens-orchid-evolution-tree-bee-vision

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Happy Darwin Day!

It’s Darwin Day everybody! A day to celebrate science and evolution (and Charles Darwin’s birthday!), Darwin Day is a fairly recent phenomenon, but hopefully it’ll grow in time!

To celebrate, I’ve finished a version of my Evolution! animation, with drawings and sound effects from the Science Museum of Virginia! They, like all the groups, have their own specialized ending, this time ending with the Rainforest. The animation will be playing today in the rotunda of the Science Museum, but you can watch it here, too. Enjoy!

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Evolution! At the Science Museum of Virginia

I ran through my evolution project at the Science Museum of Virginia today and plan on doing a custom version of my existing animation for them (hopefully finished by Darwin Day, Feb 12th).

In the meantime, here are some sound effects I recorded from them!

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In reference to the “biomorphs” from Richard Dawkins “The Blind Watchmaker,” I found a site that allows you to evolve the weirdly shapes critters on your own! This more or less mirrors exactly how I get my drawings, so start mashing some squares and see what you can come up with! (at first the biomorphs will be very small, so just keep clicking until you start to see something you like and then go for it.)


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