Tuesday, April 29, 2014

2048 - Evolution Edition!

Many of you may have noticed a game sweeping the internet recently; a game called 2048.

2048 - Classic
The premise is simple: combine similar numbers to advance. Two 2s make a 4; two 4s make an 8; and so on until you get the coveted 2048 tile.

The game has been so popular that it has spawned a whole list of parodies, including variants based on the Fibonacci sequence, Tetris, Pokémon, and even a website where you can make your own 2048.


So create my own 2048, I did!  I present: 2048 - Evolution Edition.

It's the same concept as the original, except combining like organisms advances you along an evolutionary lineage. Proceed all the way to the end to see the final product!

Mostly I created this for fun, but I hope that it can also be informative.  I've written up short descriptions to go along with each tile, for those who would like to learn (or teach!) as well as play.

Whatever you do with it, have fun!

TILE DESCRIPTIONS:

Choanoflagellates
Choanoflagellates are single-celled organisms very closely related to animals.  They look quite similar to the cells of modern sponges, and some even form small colonies.  A colonial choanoflagellate-like organism may have been the ancestor of true multicellular animals.

Sponge
Sponges are invertebrate animals whose cells are barely specialized, creating very simple bodies.  They represent some of the earliest animals: so simple they seem like little more than a colony of single-celled organisms. As they evolved, their descendants would develop more complex bodies.

Pikaia
Pikaia
has a body very different from most animals that came before it.  It has well-developed organ systems, a defined head and tail, and a flexible rod called a notochord running down its back.  Later relatives would use the notochord as the foundation for a true backbone.   

Astraspis
Astraspis
is one of the earliest fish, and among the earliest animals with bones, including a true backbone.  It has no jaws as fish do today, and its bones form mostly simple features.  Its descendants would develop many advanced bony structures.

Latimeria
Latimeria is a coelacanth.  Coelacanths are some of the most ancient fish, and are still around today.  They belong to a group called the lobe-finned fish.  Latimeria has true bony jaws and, unlike most fish, has a series of bones in its fins to give them strength as it swims.

Tiktaalik
Tiktaalik
is one of the first vertebrate animals to leave the water.  It has a neck separating its head from its body, lungs as well as gills, and a flat head for peeking out of the water.  The limb bones it inherited from its fish ancestors are developed enough for it to crawl around on land. 

Seymouria
Seymouria
has fully-developed limbs and lungs adapted for life on land.  It also has special traits that allowed it to live its whole life away from the water, unlike its amphibian ancestors.  Seymouria represents the transition between amphibians and reptiles.  

Tritylodon
Tritylodon inherited many land-dwelling traits from its ancestors, including the specialized amniotic eggs that it lays.  But it also has specialized teeth, inner ear bones, and other traits typically associated with its descendants, the mammals.

Aegyptopithecus
Aegyptopithecus
is a true mammal.  It gives live birth and feeds milk to its young.  It is also specialized for life in the trees, with long arms and grasping fingers and a great sense of balance.  Many of its descendants would stay in the trees, but others evolved to walk upright on the ground.

Australopithecus
Australopithecus
inherited its specialized arms and legs from its tree-dwelling ancestors, but unlike them it has no tail and stands erect, walking on two legs across the ground.  It has a large brain and dexterous hands, and might use simple tools like many apes do today. 

Homo sapiens
Homo sapiens is a multicellular animal with a defined head and backbone.  It has lungs for breathing air, and can live its whole life on land.  It has bony jaws with specialized mammalian teeth and gives live birth.  Its arms are great for grabbing and climbing, and it walks and runs upright on two feet.  

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