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.
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Extinction In Action: The Sawfish
Toothy Sawfish Doomed by Own Design
Jennifer Viegas, Discovery News
Dec. 2, 2008 -- New efforts are underway to save the sawfish, an iconic, shark-like fish that has experienced steep population declines in recent years, primarily because its distinctive saw-shaped snout easily tangles in nets, angering fishermen.
In 2003 the sawfish became the first marine fish to be placed on the list of federally endangered species. It's been on the list ever since.
"Commercial fishermen have never liked sawfish," George Burgess, a University of Florida ichthyologist, told Discovery News. "They routinely kill sawfish because they can cause costly damage to nets."
Burgess is a University of Florida ichthyologist who serves as curator of both the International Shark Attack File and the National Sawfish Encounter Database. He's calling on the public to help with a new expansion of the sawfish database that is bringing together files formerly housed with the Mote Marine Laboratory, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and two private collections.
"We'd like for anyone who has seen a sawfish in the wild to report the sighting using the form at the Florida Museum of Natural History web site," he said, explaining that the information will be used to better reveal the distribution of sawfish.
Sawfish, which can grow to anywhere from 4.6 to 23 feet in length depending on the species, once had a range that extended from the waters off of New York to the Tex-Mex border. Now it's thought that sawfish "are essentially confined to Florida," according to Burgess.
South Florida was always a primary destination for the flat-headed fish.
"I think every bar there has a sawfish saw hanging on the wall," he said, adding that while the fish can survive without the saw, its ability to hunt is severely compromised.
The fish's electro-sensitive rostrum acts like a metal detector, allowing sawfish to search, and dig into, the sea floor. The saw is also used to fend off would-be attackers.
Although Florida newspaper accounts of sawfish catches suggest the fish was plentiful there around the turn of the 20th century, the fish are now forced to hide out at more remote spots. The sawfish also have a nursery area for their young in South Florida waters.
Another remaining sawfish refuge is in Brazil at the mouth of the Amazon River, which Burgess just visited.
As for the Florida Everglades, human access to the site is limited, so it's one of the few places in the world where the fish can thrive. Under other circumstances, sawfish frequently ascend from the sea floor into bays and estuaries, where fatal encounters with fishermen frequently occur.
Compounding the problem is that, like many sharks, sawfish grow slowly, reach sexual maturity at around 10 to 12 years of age, and have a low reproductive potential. Although individuals may have a life span of 30 years or more, they give birth to live young, a process that requires a prolonged gestation period.
Other researchers are very concerned about the fate of sawfish and their shark and ray relatives.
This year, an international study organized by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) Shark Specialist Group, determined that over 50 percent of such species are now threatened with extinction.
"The traditional view of oceanic sharks and rays as fast and powerful often leads to a misperception that they are resilient to fishing pressure," said Sonja Fordham, who worked on the IUCN project.
Both she and Burgess hope better data, improved monitoring and catch limits can help to turn the extinction tide.
"In the case of sawfish, we're talking about a recovery process that requires 100 years," Burgess said.
He added, "I won't live to see it, nor will my children, but hopefully their children will."