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.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

It's All About Streamlining

I've often been asked about why I made my animals the way I did, well it's all about streamlining. Evolution as we all know is a process of improvement. You look at most modern mammals, and you see big, rather clumsy creatures. Felines lumbering from side-to-side, elephants incapable of jumping, cattle built more like tanks than a creature who should be able to quickly and easily escape predators, mammals with gliding membranes creep slowly up tree trunks. Well, that is what my Metazoic site set out to improve upon. What would make these animals more streamlined for running, jumping, climbing, and still be able to do some of the things that they are likely meant to do? Well, we see some of the answers in modern mammals already.

For example, what makes an animal streamlined for running? The fastest animals have developed hooves for running. So I applied this concept to several species, and even to some predators. The deer-like Deinognathids are prime examples of having streamlined legs for being able to capture their prey. They are also equipped with jaws so powerful, it would make a crocodile feel envious!!! Their jaws are their primary weapons (hense the collective family name "Deinognathids" which mean "terrible jaws"). The teeth are well developed for grasping onto prey. But we will look further into the family when I get to them for Family of the Week. But they would be great examples of mammals that combine speed and agility with predatory precision. If we could see one of these animals running today, we would see they run with the very same spring in their step that we see in modern deer and antelope, rather than the slow, lumbering, swaying motions seen in modern felines.

Another thing that seems to stump everyone is why my gliding lemurs have developed ribbed gliding membranes rather than the typical sugar-glider style membranes. Well, again, it's streamlining. Sugar gliders, flying lemurs, and flying squirrels have this feature, and by consequence are not very fast climbers. Nothing like their relatives are anyway. The gliding lemurs of the Metazoic have eliminated the extensive gliding membrane for a set of wing-like projections from the ribs that fold back when the animal is climbing. Therefore giving them better and faster gliding power, and still be able to glide over long distances, even though their gliding membrane is rather small. In short, these animals climb much faster than the animals that have extensive gliding membranes, like sugar gliders, because their arms and legs are more free and flexible.

Another thing I get asked a lot is why do I have bats that have only one finger in the wings, ie, the Monodactylopterids. Again, it's all about streamlining. Look at modern sea birds, like gulls, albatross and terns. Their wings are very streamlined compared to say how a sparrow or robin or even an eagle's wings are built. Because these birds basically are built to ride the oceanic wind currents. So are the Monodactylopterid bats of the Metazoic. Most of these species are ocean-dwellers, and built to ride the wind currents. Though I still have some Metazoic Pteropods that have all 4 fingers in their wings and do indeed inhabit the oceans, the process of improvement allows for the Monodactylopterids to lose 3 of the 4 fingers in the wing, and move on to a more streamlined 1-fingered wing, making them considerably faster and better capable of navigating from continent to continent by using the wind currents to their advantage. And yes, the Monodactylopterids did evolve from the Pteropods.

Well, I hope this helps others understand a little bit about the World after humans that I have created. Though the animals may seem strange, they are not impossible.


Metalraptor said...

Elephants are the exception, not the rule, when it comes to the physical abilities of large mammals. The reason why elephants can't jump is not due to their size, but due to the anatomy that charictarizes proboscideans. If one were to compare a mammoth to an indricothere, an arsinothere, a titanothere, a uintathere, and Eremotherium, one would find that all would be more agile than the mammoth. In fact Indricotherium has very flexible limbs, having evolved from cursorial, rather than semi-aquatic ancestors, and could probably run at excellent speeds.

As for cats, cats don't lumber. I don't know how you came to that conclusion, but the only way I could think of involved the shortness of cat's legs. Cats have short legs like these so they can switch rapidly from springing after a victim, to climbing after it, to leaping over boulders after it, what have you.

Also, hooves aren't the only way to get faster (although they do help), hoof-like nails such as those seen in dogs and the cheetah work too.

Finally, I do like your gliding lemurs, but the only problem I have with them is that mammal ribs are fused into a cartilagenous sternum. Perhaps the ribs could develop from flexible protrusions that develop on the side of the ribs, rather than from the ribs themselves (but you could still say ribs so you don't confuse the less scientifically minded).

Timgal said...

From what I understand, if an elephant jumps, their legs will break. But they have the same foot and leg structure we have and we can jump fine.

Cats do lumber. But then I could be comparing them to a kit fox I saw in the same video with a bobcat. The fox literally seemed to glide along the ground, while the bobcat lumbered. Same with all other felines I've seen.

As for hooved mammals, they are faster runners and better leapers. I don't know what the magic of hooves are, but it's there. Except for maybe cows and heavier hooved mammals, but I believe the streamlined hooves are part of what makes them so fast.

As for the gliding lemurs, I had thought of that structure. In fact that is the theory I preferred. You have to admit it would make them better adept at climbing. *smile*

Metalraptor said...

It certainly would. However, I just wanted to point out that those animals today that have the greatest amount of patagium membrane (colugos) are also the best gliders.

As for cats, they don't lumber, they slink. Cats only sprint if they are chasing prey, they are sprinters, not long-distance runners. Foxes on the other hand are more cursorial, but they pay a price. As you well know, no fox other than the gray fox can climb trees, and the gray fox is very cat-like in its anatomy and behavior.

Elephants have a unique leg structure, which is shared amonst all the members of the proboscidea (elephants, mammoths, mastodons, gomphotheres, and primitive elephants). This leg flexes different than other mammals (I think it might actually bend foreward), and their elbows and knees can lock, allowing them to stand in place. While this prevents elephants from running or jumping, they don't need to. An elephant has its trunk, which allows it to reach any food that it could normally attain by jumping or leaping. Plus, elephants can bend down (see Tet Zoo for an excellent picture of this), so they can reach things below them as well. Elephants are not physically handicapped because of their size, but because of their unique proboscidean anatomy.

Timgal said...

"As for cats, they don't lumber, they slink."

Looked like lumbering to me. Looked clumsy.

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