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.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Family of the Week: The Anacolls

These are generally large mammals, most measuring over 50 feet in length. A lot of these species grow up to 100 feet in length. They truly are the largest land mammals of the Metazoic. They resemble the prehistoric brontosaurs. They have long, flexible necks, relatively small heads, small, rounded ears. The legs are like those of elephants. The tail is long, thick and acts like a 5th leg when the animal chooses to stand on it's hind legs to reach up into the foliage and snatch a high branch.

All species of this family (the Megacollidae) are vegetarians. While they usually prefer to feed on leaves, shoots, sometimes even branches, and fruit, they will not hesitate to graze on the grasses and low-growing plants, flowers and bushes as well. Being big is an advantage to this animal, as they can almost double their grasping height when they stand on their hind legs to reach the highest level of the canopy. One species, Fereamanus, also has a 6-foot long elephant-like trunk that gives them an even bigger advantage over it's other relative species. The trunk of this animal is every bit as versatile as the trunk of a modern elephant, and can reach branches high up or pick up lower growing plants and grasses below. Another, more primitive species, called Probosciferous, has a small remnant of a trunk, but it is not the same as it is in Fereamanus.

Though there are no really 'small' species in this family to speak of, the smallest is Astrapetherium, with a total length of about 55 feet long. It is the largest mammal in it's range, but smaller than other members of this family. It is a large, but slenderly-built mammal that can easily maneuver it's way through the forests. It is a gentle giant, not even pushing away grazers of other species. The largest member of this family is Cervilecticula, with an overall length of about 150 feet. It is the largest mammal that ever lived. Though most of that length is neck and tail. These are animals of the open plains, where the trees are pretty well spread apart. Cervilecticula is so large, and needs so much food, they will feed on any variety of plant matter, including submerging in water to feed on water plants, and graze on moss and lichens as well.

The species with the longest neck in proportion to it's body size is Altodepascium. The neck is longer than the body and half the tail put together. The long, slender neck is so long, that it would seem to topple the animal when it walks. But the long, thick tail counterbalances the over-elongated neck. With it's neck, this animal can reach tall tree branches without having to stand on it's hind legs. Most anacolls live in small herds, usually in family groups. Some individuals stay with their families for life, never migrating to other herds. Life is a long time for these mammals, they can live up to 200 years!

These animals are big, but they are not without predators. Most vulnerable are the young. The larger and older family members can use their bulk to intimidate most predators, but larger pack hunters, like Deinognathus, can take on adult animals as well. The greatest predators are of course the Deinognathids, large Viverrids, some large foxes, even large monitor lizards, snakes and predatory bats. At the same time, the adults rely on some carnivorous bats to rid them of ticks, mosquitos and other biting parasites, as seen in this pic below of Folicaptus with a flock of Tylopterus bats landing on it's back.

14 comments:

Pavel I. Volkov said...

Cassandra, do you remember the draft page of anacolls made of screen captures? It was a long time ago, I know. Are there any new species of anacolls here? As I remember, there were only 4 species of these ones shown in your flash film.

Timgal said...

Paul, the whole list of species would be on the checklist.

Sorry, I don't remember the screen captures. Unfortunately I haven't got to their page just yet on my site, except for the flash film.

Metalraptor said...

The only thing I find a little weird about the anacolls is that they look like someone sewed a stereotypical mammal head onto a sauropod body. But hey, most sauropods (not counting the rebbachisaurids and others) were generalized too, so why not.

animaloverlord42 said...

So how do i put this? these "anocolids" seem to be absurdly large compared to anything on Earth today. cervilecticula is the most enourmous at 150 feet (45 metres). no dinosaur, not even the gigantic argentinosaurus reaches this length (although the controversial amphicoelias fragimillis may reach 190 feet and 122 tonnes (133 tons)). lol. a problem large mammals face is that the larger they are, the less babies they have and less frequently.elephants have on average 1 baby every 4 years and this creature seems to need at least 15 years for that. sauropods are known to have laid clutches of eggs of more than 30, each no larger than an ostriches egg. also they had no parental care, meaning they could have more offspring.so while cervilecticula would only have 1 baby in 15 years, a similarly large sauropod could have hundreds of offspring, excellent for coping with catastrophes or droughts. also birds, the closest living relatives of dinosaurs have highly efficient lungs taking in lots of oxygen constantly; up to 2 and a half times as much as a similar sized mammal would, and large animals have difficulty taking in oxygen, so sauropods with bird lungs would be perfectly suited to this. so for a mammal of such size youd need very high amounts of oxygen, im guessing at least 40%, even higher than the carboniferous. also if it went in water, the pressure would crush its lungs. this is exactly the reason why we know longer think sauropods lived in water. although i would be interested in a fight between it and deinognathus, the two could not exist by my opinion. but i still love your website. bye.

Timgal said...

I'm thinking about how that could work. Don't worry animallover. I'll get to that in a later blog. :)

Metalraptor said...

Metazoica was thinking that because the anacollids are descended from burrowing mammals like Geotragus, that the clade of geotragus+Megacollidae developed a system of bird-like lungs, to allow it do get maximum oxygen content out of it oxygen-poor burrows.

Not to mention that there is evidence now that sauropods took care of their young. Just because an animal has precocious young doesn't mean it abandons them. Look at the wildebeest, its young can walk mere minutes after birth, but the mother does not abandon its young.

And there is the fact that there have been gigantic mammals before. Maybe not on the level of the Megacollids, but Indricotherium/Paraceratherium is big enough to give some of the sauropods like Camarasaurus a run for their money. Due to their abrupt extinction at the end of the Oligocene, we have no idea how big the indricotherine rhinos could have gotten if they had "stayed the course".

And whales, another group of mammals which seem to be too large for their own good, are able to produce sufficient amounts of offspring to survive. They didn't even face a problem until humans started hunting them unsustainably, and they survived despite being preyed on by orcas or megalodon. Elephants aren't always the best analogue for large mammals. They have a lot of kinks in their ancestry that look like they are the result of gigantism (knees that bend weird, the trunk), that are really just inherited from the time they were smaller animals.

I also think that the megacollids are too large to be entirely plausible, but that does not mean that the entire idea of long-necked mammals are out. I can easily see an anacoll getting to large sauropod size, but I doubt that it could get into the Supersaurus-Argentinosaurus range.

And how the heck does this make Deinognathus unable to exist? Answer me that.

animaloverlord42 said...

1. there is evidence that the largest abandoned their offspring, although some might have looked after them. but the sauropods brain-body ratio was very different from that of the wildebeest.
2. the transition from tiny burrowing animal to collosus cervetcicula is heard of in the past, but not to such an extreme extent. all amniotes are decended from a tiny creature called paleothyris, over 320 million years ago, and may have been (or have been closely related to) the ancestor of reptiles, birds, mammals and their extinct relatives. but at this point it had no competition at all, so it could easily diversify into many species. also on the lungs thing you said; moles have subterranean lifestyles and do not need bird like lungs, also the reason birds had them in the first place was to be able to fly and move quickly. the dinosaurs also had these lungs, allowing them to weigh less and move faster, as well as look even bigger than they were.
3. the structure of paraceratherium is very different to that of the sauropods, sauropods had a perfect body structure for gigantism; a long neck terminating in a small head, a large, robust and muscular body, a long tail and very thick sturdy legs. the picture of cervecticula says it doesnt have such thick legs as the sauropods. The paraceratherium, however lacks this, although it is much better than an elephants design. But if it grows much bigger, it will need to slow down the growth of its head, and how would it be able to balance the neck etc without a large tail, which perrisodactyls lack?
4. whales are another story altogether. Firstly, they dont have to have legs to support their bodies, (how much does cervecticula weigh?) because of the waters bouyancy. secondly, while the plants sauropods fed on were of poor nutritional value (there arent enough high nutritional value plants to sustain the giants on land), the whales rely on plankton/krill, which is much higher in nutrients than any land plant, as well as being easier to digest.
5.sorry about that spinoff. Deinognathus would also suffer from some of the anacolid problems of weight, it also has a seemingly tripod like design from the picture. tyrannosaurus and giganotosaurus are straight backed and have a good hip design too. deinognathus appears to be larger than either of these, and has powerful arms, too. large arms would put too much pressure on the body and tail, to keep it standing. hooves are innefficient for such large bipedal creatures too. i would be more happy with spread out feet, as the pressure would be more subtle, allowing it to move more quickly. it would also need to eat much more than any modern land mammal does in meat. i would be alright with a quadrapedal, rhinoceros sized mimic of andrewsarchus or megistotherium, but thats it. and would it need to pack hunt? there is no proper evidence that t rex and giganotosaurus lived and died in groups or whether they attacked as a mob, which is more realistic by my opinion. it would be a fascinating dramatic story though; cervecticula vs deignognathus. any replies?

Metalraptor said...

"there is no proper evidence that t rex and giganotosaurus lived and died in groups or whether they attacked as a mob, which is more realistic by my opinion."

Bull. There is tons of evidence for pack hunting in theropods. Interage groups of individuals have been found for Allosaurus, Albertosaurus, Mapusaurus, Daspletosaurus, and some other dinosaurs like Deinonychus. These sites were all primarily composed of one species with individuals of different ages. The only other species in these sites are a handful of bones from herbivorous dinosaurs, all heavily pitted from digestion in stomach acid. The evidence suggests that these guys lived in groups. As for hunting in packs, it can never be definitively proven, but the fact that they lived in groups suggests that this is likely.

As for the hooves, you do have a good point there. Perhaps they should have splayed, camel-like feet? Large arms are not a problem, as the allosaurs all had large arms (yes, even Giganotosaurus to an extent). The shrinkage of arms seems to be more related to the upscaling of the head in relation to the body than overall size. And I think Deinognathus does have a horizontal body, but the fact that it does not have a stiff tail like T-rex probably means it can move in a greater variety of ways, such as temporarily rearing up like that to see further.

"without a large tail, which perrisodactyls lack?"

It evolves it. Mammals can develop long, thick tails when the conditions demand it, look at otters, monkeys, pangolins, armadillos, ground sloths, coatimundis, kangaroos, aardvarks, and a host of other animals.

"but the sauropods brain-body ratio was very different from that of the wildebeest."

Ratites are roughly the same way, and have roughly the same behaviors. Nuff said.

"the transition from tiny burrowing animal to collosus cervetcicula is heard of in the past, but not to such an extreme extent. all amniotes are decended from a tiny creature called paleothyris, over 320 million years ago, and may have been (or have been closely related to) the ancestor of reptiles, birds, mammals and their extinct relatives. but at this point it had no competition at all, so it could easily diversify into many species. also on the lungs thing you said; moles have subterranean lifestyles and do not need bird like lungs, also the reason birds had them in the first place was to be able to fly and move quickly. the dinosaurs also had these lungs, allowing them to weigh less and move faster, as well as look even bigger than they were."

Cerveticula is too big, I will admit that, but Geotragus is the size of a sheep. As for the whole idea that mammals did not develop good breathing systems, that system was about all that saved the dicynodonts in the P-T extinction. Bats have also developed some of the features unique to sauropods in their skull.

"The paraceratherium, however lacks this"

Lacks what? Long neck. Check. Smaller head. Check. Pillar-like legs. Check. All it is missing is the long tail.

"as well as being easier to digest."

Mammals have been able to beat birds in the digestion game easily. Birds (except the hoatzin) are still using their gizzard to get food. Mammals have developed full frontal rumination, which gets a lot more nutrients out of plants. And leaves are a lot more nutritious than grass.

"it would also need to eat much more than any modern land mammal does in meat."

So did the theropods. Feeding a hyperactive, multi-ton carnivore isn't easy...so you feed it hyperactive, multi-ton herbivores.

animaloverlord42 said...

hi again.I havent replied in months and i apologise aobut the deinognathus offshoot. it just looked in the picture that it had a vertical stance, like old pictures of tyrannosaurus and allosaurus. spinosaurus may have had fairly large arms, but its head was pretty thin in comparison to a tyrannosaur or allosaur. the paraceratheriums head may be relatively small but its still much larger than that of most sauropods.


also, by theropods, i meant giant ones, i know that ones like raptors did, theirs plenty of evidence for it. i looked up more on larger carnivores pack hunting, i apologise for my early mistake.

to the digestion thing, most leaves the sauropods woud have fed on during the majority of their reign would have been ferns, conifers, and other plants, which are less nutritious than modern deciduous plants. Even the largest dinosaurs (ie argentinosaurus or amphicoelias) are nowhere near the theoretical limit for a land animal, which according to a 1985 calculation (surprisingly accurate considering it was created before argentinosaurus was discovered) was between 100 and 1000 metric tons, at least under gravity's influence, but plenty of other factors stop this unfortunately.

Timgal said...

Good to see you again Animallover. That is interesting about Argentinosaurus.

animaloverlord42 said...

which bit about argentinosaurus? the size thing? i bet the theoretical maximum size for a sea animal is even larger. which is the metazoics largest aquatic animal by the way? is it an equivelent to the blue whale or is it completely different as a creature? i hope the website has more birds in the future, and perhaps reptiles and fish too. see ya :)

Timgal said...

So far the largest sea animal is Megalophoca, with a total length of about 60 feet long.
I'd like to work on more birds and herps for Metazoica. If you have any ideas, I'm all ears. I haven't worked on the site much lately because I've been too busy with other things, but eventually I'll get around to it. :)

animaloverlord42 said...

On my alien project, some of my animals are named after mythological creatures, such as the book of job or greek mythology. i even have a leviathan and behemoth in it. they are both large creatures and are only in specific areas. my blog has more details for later.btw which group does megalodphoca fall into again?

Timgal said...

Megalophoca is in the family Parafocidae, and they are descended from otters. I'd like to see your blog sometime. Sounds interesting.