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.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Family of the Week: The Roos

Not to take away from Metalraptor, but I thought I would just do one last family of the week for a while. This week it's the roos, the family Macropodidae. This is a family that is even still around today. During the Metazoic, it is still a very extensive family, with 32 distinct genera and 91 species ranging from the GBM range to New Zealand. They have adjusted to competition from the invading placentals, so they pretty much go on throughout the era. They range from tree-dwellers to rock-dwellers, to creatures of the grasslands. They are basically long-legged, much like today, bipedal animals, with big pouches in the abdominal region. But unlike modern roos, which can only get around by hopping, these kangaroos move like ostriches. The ears are large and can swivel independently. The eyes are large and in most species face sideways, with the exception of the Peradoradines, which are actually monkey-like kangaroos. In most species the tails are long, usually as long as the head and body. In the tree-dwelling varieties the tail is long and prehensile to some extent. The largest species in the family is Silfrangerus, which is the size of an elephant. The smallest species is Pholidurulus, which is about the size of a typical rat. All Macropods of the Metazoic are equipped with forelimbs that have only 3 fingers, the 2 index fingers and the single, opposable thumb. The feet have only 3 toes as well, the largest is the middle digit, which is what these animals typically stand on or move on. The last digit is smaller, and basically is there to balance the animal, much like the toes on an ostrich's foot. The first digit is the smallest, and usually does not touch the ground when the animal is in motion. In some species, like Carnophalanger, this digit is equipped with a very large, curved claw, used to slash open it's prey.

Carnophalanger is the largest fully predatory mammal in Metazoic Australia. They stand on average about 16 feet tall, with a total length of about 35 feet. They eat anything that moves, from other kangaroos, to small possums, to crocodiles, biting into them with their 5-inch long, sharp, serrated incisors and keeping them from struggling by holding them with their powerful arms that are themselves equipped with strong hands and powerful, razor-sharp claws. This animal is basically the perfect killer. When killing, they usually go for the head first, to crush the skull and dig out the brain of their prey for consumption. The large claws on the feet slash the prey's belly open to easily rip out the guts, which is usually just removed, not consumed. They next concentrate on the breast meat of their prey. They are lone hunters, rarely if ever hunting in packs. They are diurnal hunters that hunt by basically stalking their prey. They are much more attracted by movement from their prey than by smell or sound.

For the most part, kangaroos are vegetarians, though some smaller species, as today, will feed on small invertebrates. The most interesting members of this family are the Peradoradines, which are monkey-like, tree and rock-climbing kangaroos found in New Zealand. Their eyes face foreward, the muzzles are rather short and blunt, though not quite as short as in monkeys. The hands and feet are both completely opposable, to grasp branches easily. The claws are sharp, though not as curved as they are in modern tree kangaroos, but rather like those of bushbabies. The tail is actually longer than the head and body. The hind legs are somewhat longer than the forelimbs. The pelt is soft and thick, the only nude spots on the body are the nose, soles, and palms. The fur is short on the face, but not nude. The ears of most species are small and round. They are very agile leapers, much like lemurs and monkeys of today. They leap using a verticle hopping motion, much like we see in the sifakas of today. They are mostly vegetarians, though sometimes insects and grubs are consumed for the energy-giving, high protein content.

The most amazing kangaroo is Pholidurulus. Not only is it the smallest kangaroo, it is also the one that has the largest litters. Most roos have only one youngster, but this species can have as many as 4. The young are born much like they are in other roos: under-developed, tiny, with only their arms and mouths functioning. The pouch lining is small and closes tight, but the inside of the pouch is very roomy, to handle the capacity of up to 4 offspring. These babies continue to develop, but all their real growing occurs when they leave the pouch, which is after they get all their senses working, they're furry, the legs are working right, and they can move very well on their own. Pholidurulus is the only Metazoic kangaroo to have a scaly tail, much like a rat.

Not all kangaroos are bipeds. Latrogalea and Silfrangerus are quadrupeds. Their legs did not evolve shorter, their arms just got longer. Both species often sit up on their hind legs to get at higher-growing leaves, much like all kangaroos do. With the tail acting as a 3rd hind leg to keep the animal steady. But when it comes to moving around, they prefer to do it on all fours. Latrogalea is quite a fast runner as well. They bound and leap at 40 mph much like deer do.

The strangest-looking of all roos are those in the species Lambeifer. These kangaroos have head-dressings that consist of huge lumps, usually over the eyes and nasal areas on the head. The lumps are more prominent on the males, who use them to attract mates. The lumps are naked during the breeding season, and become larger and turn a bright red. Often the males are unable to see because their lumps get so swelled up over their eyes during the breeding season. But after breeding is over, the lumps return to a more normal state. During the breeding season, their acute hearing is often the males' greatest asset to avoid danger. They use both the claws on their feet and hands to swipe at other males, but the females find the males with the biggest and most colorful lumps to be the most attractive.

Predators of kangaroos are plenty. Carnophalanger is the main enemy, until Tamanoa reaches the Australian continent in the late half of the Metazoic. Snakes, crocodiles and monitor lizards also feed on the smaller roos, much like they do today. Some lemurs, like Bromista and Tyrannopithecus regularly bring down roos as well. Usually preferring the smaller species. Though sometimes other large lemurs, like Chirosapus, can get into bloody battles with Carnophalanger, this lemur is not a kangaroo-hunter. In fact, Cairosapus is more likely to be trying to prevent the roo from making it it's next meal! Predatory birds and bats are also predators of kangaroos.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

This is Metalraptor...

I assume that the quadrupedal kangaroos move like quadrupedal kangaroos did in the past, by rabbit hopping?

I also had some ideas to make Sifrangerus more unique, as it is not very Dixonian in the first place the way you have it. But this one just borders on weird.

Is Carnophalanger descended from the rat kangaroos? I would think so, since these are the most carnivorous kangaroos alive today. In fact, they developed carnivorous forms in the past, just look at Propleopus.

Bill Austin said...

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Timgal said...

Metalraptor, this is TimGal coming through on my sis's computer. Anyway, yes they do move in a rabbit-like fashion.

As for Silfrangerus, you know I'd love to see any submissions you can give.

Yes, Carnophalanger is a descendant of the rat kangaroos.