of Grandmother Fish & Clades

October 19, 2016
by Jonathan Tweet
Comments Off on Clades Kickstarter Launched and Funded!

Clades Kickstarter Launched and Funded!

Karen and I have a new game on Kickstarter. It’s Clades, the Evolutionary Card Game. Clades is an animal-matching game based on evolutionary relationships, for kids and adults. Please take a look at the Kickstarter page. We funded on the second day, and now we’re trying to raise enough money to create a second version of the game, Clades: Prehistoric, with all prehistoric animals.




Thanks for your interest in sharing the wonderful story of evolution with children (and grownups).


October 24, 2016
by Jonathan Tweet
Comments Off on Whippomorphs: Big, Swimming Mammals

Whippomorphs: Big, Swimming Mammals



The mammals of the water are whippomorphs, represented by a blue whale, a dolphin, and a hippopotamus. The term “whippomorph” means “whale-hippo shape”, and it proves that scientists have a sense of humor. As with many sorts of modern mammal, the earliest whippomorphs appeared shortly after the non-bird dinosaurs were wiped out 66 million years ago. These ancestors were apparently large, semiaquatic mammals. The clade soon split into two clades, one clade including today’s hippos, and the other including today’s whales and dolphins. The whale-dolphin clade is Cetacea, meaning “whales”. Blue whales and other baleen whales have no teeth, and instead they have baleen bristles that filter plankton as a food source. Dolphins are technically toothed whales, like sperm whales are. They prey on fish, like the earliest whales probably did. Air-breathing gives toothed whales an advantage over their water-breathing prey because air has much more oxygen in it than water does.

October 19, 2016
by Jonathan Tweet
Comments Off on Lizards and Snakes Form a Scaly Clade: Squamata

Lizards and Snakes Form a Scaly Clade: Squamata

blueliz3In Clades, the sauropsids of the earth are squamates, comprising all lizards and snakes. “Squamate” means scaly, and their scales distinguish them from turtles, birds, and crocodiles. These other sauropsids have scutes, which are made of bone and horn, but they don’t have scales. The earliest modern lizards lived almost 200 million years ago and resembled geckos. That was about 50 million years after the earliest dinosaurs appeared. The common ancestor of all lizards and snakes could unhinge its jaw to swallow large prey, as can today’s squamates, especially snakes. In Clades, the three squamates are a gecko, a snake, and a chameleon. Scientists propose that snakes and chameleons are together in a “venom clade” called Toxicofera. This clade also includes iguanas, gila monsters, and related lizards.

August 13, 2016
by Jonathan Tweet
Comments Off on Clades on Kickstarter in October

Clades on Kickstarter in October

This October, Karen and I are going to launch a Kickstarter campaign to fund our new game, Clades. Click on the card back for a quick description.

early draft of card back

In biology, a clade is an evolutionary family. In Clades players match animal cards according to their features, including which clades the animals belong to.

cladesCard3BlueAirReptileEvery card features one, two, or three of Karen’s spirited animal drawings. The animals are arranged according to their evolutionary history.


July 17, 2016
by Jonathan Tweet
Comments Off on Signatures for Pre-Order Customers

Signatures for Pre-Order Customers

signatureBookplatePeople who pre-order Grandmother Fish can provide their receipts to Macmillan and get bookplates signed by Karen and me to put in their books. Karen and I asked whether we could do something special for our supporters who pre-order copies, and the Macmillan folks set this program up for us. You can order from any site and still qualify. Here’s an image of what the stickers will look like. Karen and I are going to sign each one, and some folks may get stickers or thank-yous on their bookplates, as well as signatures. The program is for customers in the US and Canada (other than Quebec and Puerto Rico).

You can pre-order from your favorite brick-and-mortar store.

We also have five online sites from which you can pre-order a copy of Grandmother Fish.

Pre-order on Amazon

Pre-order from Barnes & Noble

Pre-order from IndieBound, a community of independent local bookstores

Pre-order from Wal-Mart

Pre-order from other retailers

Once you have a receipt, upload a copy of it to this site, along with your address, to get your bookplate

Upload Receipt Here

The more people that pre-order Grandmother Fish, the bigger a splash the book will make in September. Please help spread the word.


March 10, 2016
by Jonathan Tweet
Comments Off on Books no longer available

Books no longer available

The limited edition books once for sale on our store are no longer available. The PDF edition is also no longer available. Please look forward with us to the release of Grandmother Fish (2nd edition) coming from Macmillan this fall. Thanks.


January 14, 2016
by Jonathan Tweet
Comments Off on Macmillan to publish Grandmother Fish!

Macmillan to publish Grandmother Fish!

A vice president at MacMillan, Jean Feiwel, is picking up Grandmother Fish for her personal imprint, Feiwel & Friends! They are releasing the second edition in the fall! It’s going to be big! Karen and I are ecstatic! People can pre-order the second edition right now.

Pre-order on Amazon

Pre-order from Barnes & Noble

Pre-order from IndieBound, a community of independent local bookstores

Pre-order from Wal-Mart

Pre-order from other retailers


December 10, 2015
by Jonathan Tweet
Comments Off on Big thanks to lots of people

Big thanks to lots of people

Here are people who helped make Karen and me make Grandmother Fish as good as it is. Our thanks go out to all of them.

Science Help: Eric Meikle, Adam Benton, Paul Braterman, Rob Furey, Brian Joughin, Margaret Mills, Yan Wong
Story Advice: Sora Battey, Jeromy French, Mischa D. Krilov, Rob Lightner, Jeff McCord, Matthew Sernett, Jenny Scott Tynes, John Tynes
Editing: Beverly Marshall Saling
Lay-out: Karen Lewis, with suggestions from John Tynes and ASH LAW
Technical and graphic support: Jeff McCord

December 7, 2015
by Jonathan Tweet
Comments Off on SOLD OUT


Ada’s Technical Books in Seattle has sold out. Folks in Australia may be able to get copies from Dymocks Camberwell, and folks in Canada might be able to find copies at the Centre for Inquiry—Canada in Toronto.

The only books I still have in stock are some of the 100 signed and numbered copies from the first edition. To help more people get these books before the holidays, I’ve dropped their price from $100 to $50. Here’s the link to the Backerkit store.

Link to personal Backerkit store.

A second edition is in the works. Thanks for your interest in Grandmother Fish.


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