Welcome to my Metazoic site! This site discusses the existence of the creatures to come along after humans will be extinct. I first became interested in a world after man when I acquired my first copy of Dougal Dixon's After Man: A Zoology of the Future in 1992. However, I unwittingly created creatures that did not exist from the time I was about 8 years old. But it was after I obtained a copy of that book (now a collector's item) that I decided to take these same creatures I created as a child and make them more realistic in an evolutionary sense. Though it may be hard for a lot of us to grasp, humans will soon become extinct. One of the biggest factors of how this will happen is the current overpopulation rate. Which is why I don't contribute to the population. I created this world with little more than mammals fulfilling all ecological niches with the help of some friends. I even gave the era of the age after man a name, I called it the Metazoic, derived from the words for "After-era" (Meta, meaning after, and zoic meaning era). We are now in the Cenozoic era. To view all the animals I have created since I began this project, you can go to the "Meet the Mammals" section of this site. To discuss your own ideas about what you think will happen in the future world, and share your ideas with others, please feel free to leave a comment.
One more thing, some of you may find this site quite offensive, and you have a right to your own opinion. But please respect my right to have an opinion too. I'm not saying there is no GOD, I believe it was HIM who got the ball rolling. But I believe after that, evolution took over. There is so much more evidence of evolution than there is of creation. Even that going on right under our noses. Other than that, enjoy yourself and visit our many links.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Ant-Hogs

I've decided each week I am going to discuss a different family group of animals on my checklist. For those who have downloaded my checklist, you can follow right along, I'll be going down the list to discuss each group. For those who haven't downloaded it yet, go ahead. It's free! I decided not to charge for it.

The first group is the Ant-hogs, or Formicederidae. Inhabiting most of the Old World, particularly Africa and Eurasia, this is a family I figure to have 5 genera and 14 species. No sub-familial ranks. Though there should be. Most of these species are ant-eaters, equipped with specially designed claws on their forefeet. They are descended from modern hogs so they still have hooves on their feet. But most species like Formicederus, Verris, and Phylloglottus all have these unusual-shaped claws on their forefeet. These sharp, curved claws are used to pry open tough termite mounds and logs bearing ant colonies. These hogs then use their long, sticky tongue to lap up the morsels inside. The skin is tough enough to handle the thousands of constant stings from the ant and termite soldiers. These stings actually act to put the hogs into a transe-like state while they feed, and do not hurt the animals at all. After they are done eating, a quick roll in mud or dust loosens the ants and they can then be shaken right off. Ants are the primary food source, but these hogs are really opportunistic feeders. They will also feed on carrion when it can be found, grass, fallen fruits and berries. Sometimes they will even lap up small vertebrates.

There are 2 strict vegetarian hogs in this family as well, they are Procerosus and Oplizochoerus. Both are built somewhat like modern okapis. The tongue is almost the same as in the other genera, but is used only to grasp clumps of leaves. The necks are longer than usual, but stout. It allows these hogs to reach high leaves on the trees. Procerosus has an added feature, the nose is long and flexible like an elephant's trunk. Making this hog capable of reaching the highest leaves. Oplizochoerus is covered in rhinoceros-like armor on the body, but other than that and the fact it lacks the grasping proboscis, it mostly resembles Procerosus. The armor makes this hog somewhat tough to kill by all but the predators with the biggest mouths and most powerful bite, like Spathodon. These are also the largest members of this family. The largest, Procerosus with it's long grasping trunk, can reach tree branches 25 feet high. The smallest species in this family belong to Verris, which is about the size of a labrador retriever.

The main predators of ant-hogs are the Deinognathids and large mongooses and even large predatory bats. They are not easy prey though, and with their loud, charging attacks, sharp tusks, and brave demeanor, they can even hold Spathodon at bay.

2 comments:

Paul I. Volkov said...

Cassandra, I think direct links to new pages will be better idea.

Timgal said...

You mean a link to my checklist? It's on the home page, but here you go...

http://www.metazoica.com/files/Metazoic_mammals.pdf