I was laying there trying to go to sleep, when a thought crossed my mind.
Why did (almost) all animal-types develop 4 limbs? I can’t think of anything outside of snakes and fishy critters that have another configuration.
Did all of these evolve from some single 4-limbed ancestor? Is that why about everything has a head in the front and an ass in the back (ie, we have such similar biology)?
Or does it just happen that 4 limbs is the most effective configuration and thus led to the most successful breeding?
Why nothing with 6 limbs? Is it just inefficient?
I recall an experiment with AI, where it was asked to create through random mutation the most efficient structures to move from point A to point B. While a very limited definition of “success” (there are obviously many more factors than locomotion than go into a successful critter), many of the good results had designs no one had seen before, and a few we have (one was basically a sidewinder), but none were 4-limbed.
The most “variety” I have seen with animals is deep ocean fish/misc watery thingies that take on all kinds of bizarre forms. Is this because the ocean is 1) isolated and 2) well, relatively stable, making a more “friendly” environment for random mutations?
What about insects etc? Why did they evolve with all kinds of bizarre body types when animals didn’t? Shorter lifespan and larger numbers so greater chance of mutation over time?