In Memoriam, Harry Levin (1919-2011)

Dragonfly (common skimmer) Libellulidae – Its pattern of wing venation duplicates the venation of a 320 - million - year - old Meganeura dragonfly fossil with a 70-cm wing span.  Photo by Harry Levin
Tectonic Genesis
Ten Essays in Re-examination of the Late
Paleozoic and Mesozoic Eras of Earth History

By Harry Levin

1) The Evolution of Proteaceae, in Flower and Leaf
2) The Immemorial Proteaceae
3) On the Origins of the Angiosperms and Gymnosperms
4) New Zealand: a Late-Paleozoic Part of South America
5) The Dominance of the Dinosaur
6) Geomigrations of the Dinosaurs
7) Aves ex Dinosauribus: How Birds
     Evolved from  Dinosaurs
8) The Vast Geological Significance of a Fish
9) The Ubiquity and Diversity of Placental Mammals
10) Afterthoughts and Conjectures Upon Natural History


I ask – as a proponent of a new engineering approach to analysis of biogeological earth history – that Tectonic Genesis, a series of ten thought-provocative essays be put before the entire scientific community for open debate and testing.                
Tectonic Genesis, in 10 essays, establishes a realistic 300-million-year timeline for the evolution of flowering plants and provides remarkable new insight into the evolution and adaptation of mammals, dinosaurs, and birds in interaction with plant life, continental movement, and climate. Basic to the entire 10 essays on earth history is the hypothesis that both of the plant phyla, angiosperms and gymnosperms, originated during the Devonian Period, 408 to 360 million years ago.
Harry Levin:
Vita Brevis

Harry Levin held the degree of Doctor of Engineering from the Johns Hopkins University,
University, 1949.

Harry Levin

His 40-year-plus analytical research career spanned association with the Army Chemical  Center (nuclear waste); the Whirlpool Corporation (radioisotope tracers); the Marquardt Corporation (nuclear rocket and ramjet engines); and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (photovoltaics). 

Before retiring in 1982, he authored many classified, company - confidential, and open - literature papers. He has been granted nine patents on ultra-pure silicon production. He remained active as engineering consultant until 1992. Now 88, he has made advances in photography by using new techniques to expedite and enhance close-up imagery, particularly of flowers, evident in Essay # 1. In 1997, he began probing into Paleozoic and Mesozoic earth history.

In doing so, he has brought to light interacting ancient plant origins, plate tectonics, and climatology from present - day geographical distributions of plants and animals, as well as from the fossil record. His book of essays seeks, therefore, to become basic to a restructuring of the earth history of the late Paleozoic and the Mesozoic.

His essays memorialize a life of devotion to his family and his many contributions to the sciences.  My uncle, Harry Levin, died in November,  2011.
On almost every page, inquiry yields startling insights, such as a symbiotic relationship between early mammals and dinosaurs that involved deep-time parasitology. These insights provide explanation of the large diversity of placental mammals, and even of the rapid natural selection process that changed placental mammals from oviparous to viviparous.

Indeed, throughout, there occurs an amazing interweaving of a fish family, the Cichlidae; the dinosaur families, Titanosauridae  and Abelisauridae; gondwanatheres; ectoparasites; barnacles; and the prosimian Lemuridae, each a touchstone, each joining with the plant phyla, the angiosperms and the gymnosperms, to challenge the current store of geophysical theory on the locations and biogeological relationships of Africa, India, Madagascar, South  America,  Antarctica, and Australia during the late Paleozoic and the entire Mesozoic.

Among the most important inquiries, my favorite gives answer to a seemingly trivial, childlike question: “Why do birds fly north to breed?” Here, indeed, is a baffling question for an ornithologist – yet, in truth, a magnificent question. In the elucidation given herein, the bird – the last remaining dinosaur – puts to rest any question of its origin; and it reveals its specific line of descent while attesting to wonderful and unsuspected facts that governed the lives of dinosaurs.

That bird, to answer the question, calls to the fore the most important behavior characteristic of the dinosaur: namely, its cyclical north-south migrations, motivated by a highly developed safe-nesting instinct.

Even as remarkable, cattle and deer have been statistically shown to graze and rest in a north-south alignment. Tectonic Genesis, in Essay #9, explains this presumably magneto-genetic observation by relating both cattle and deer to a common insectivore progenitor in million-year symbiotic portage by dinosaurs on their cyclical north-south migrations.

One of the grandest puzzle of biogeological time was posed in debate by Hooker and Darwin – the affinity of the rainforest trees of New Zealand and Chile. Essay #4 of Tectonic Genesis offers solution. It piles evidence upon evidence that New Zealand had been joined to South America as part of Gondwanaland until the Permo-Carboniferous Ice Age,  when it broke loose and drifted, with its rainforest cover of angiosperms and gymnosperms, to the vicinity of Australia.  

Perhaps most importantly, Tectonic Genesis, in these ten essays, timely examines critical episodes of earth history which inferentially forewarn of repeatable disaster. Current global oceanographic and climatological changes emphasize the need for this knowledge and understanding of past major events of earth history, such as lifeform extinctions, which on land and ocean have occurred at long intervals, but which today on land and ocean are being accelerated by human irresponsibility.   

Authorship, Invitation and Appreciation

As the author of Tectonic Genesis, I, Harry Levin,  invite correspondence and inquiries. My mailing address is 19831 Friar Street, Woodland Hills, CA 91367. My email address is

I owe appreciation to many scholars for their valuable aid, which I will cite in time. However, in composition and preliminary editing of the ten essays of Tectonic Genesis I wish immediately to acknowledge the essential contributions of the following:

Donald H. Tarling, Emeritus Professor of Geophysics, University of Plymouth, UK, whos advice and ecouragement spurred me on to write Tectonic Genesis. His paleomagnetism researches and his book Continents Adrift were major factors in the disproof and rejection of continental immobility as a basic tenet of geology.

My son Robert D. Levin, whose insights into nature greatly enhanced the discoveries and the quality of these presentations. He holds a Ph.D. in Operations Research from The University of California at Berkeley. He is a public utility regulatory analyst for the California Public Utilities Commission.

My nephew Michael E. Abrams, a journalism professor at Florida A&M University and a naturalist editor by experience and predilection, as evidenced in his Florida Wildflowers website. He holds a Ph.D. in Journalism from The University of Missouri.

 Hakea petolaris  'Sea Urchin'  Family Proteaceae                                Photo by Harry Levin