Sharks, alligators and Gould's “random walk” theory

Sharks, alligators and Gould's “random walk” theory

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I was thinking about Stephen Jay Gould's view on evolution as pure "random walk" / Drunkard's Walk, increasing or decreasing complexity in basically random fashion, just limited by death if an organism becomes too simple and so increasing complexity without meaning that it somehow confers survival / fitness advantage.

Now, I've read elsewhere that at least some of the shark species (subspecies?) have existed in about unchanged forms for at least 100 million years (correct me if that's wrong) and alligators for 37 million years. 100M years or 37M years is pretty long even for evolution, so wouldn't it create pretty high chance that such long-running species would die out and/or evolve into species even more complex (per Gould's claim of complexity systematically increasing for purely random reasons)? Why would then what seems like about optimum fitness for particular environment persist so long?

Note: obviously I'm not a biologist or even student of biology, evolutionary biology is just my occasional interest. Apologies if I made basic mistakes in premises to this question.

Watch the video: Shark vs Crocodile Guapo Far Cry 6 (October 2022).