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.
Thursday, March 26, 2009
The Way I Speculate
When I create a family for my site, I like to think outside the box. Because one of the things I learned about evolution is one of the rules are there ain't no rules!! Evolution can sometimes take unexpected turns. It is a very complex process. People can think there is only one path for each family in evolution, but that is not so. Who would have ever guessed that modern whales would evolve from small, dog-like hooved insectivores? Yes, hooved! With feet like deer and pigs. How about our own evolution? We started to become aquatic apes at one point. Read about Oreopithecus. Then we made a turn-around and started walking on land again. All it takes is for some natural forces to turn on or off certain genes. I was watching a program last night that discussed creating a dinosaur from a modern bird by turning on some genes that had been dormant for millions of years. If we could do it, surely nature can. And in some cases she has. There have been dolphins popping up that still have their hind flippers. That's rare for an adult dolphin. They usually have them when they are still embryos in utero. But the hind flippers usually disappear well before they are born. But somehow in these mutant dolphins, the gene that makes those flippers disappear has been turned off. If those dolphins were to mate, they may have offspring that could also develop the rear flippers.
Now, when I say evolution can take unexpected turns, that does not mean that there will be terrestrial or arboreal squids!! Those are just plain stupid, created by someone with a severe squid-fetish!! They don't count. But to predict what way evolutionary paths may take, look at the young in all animals. That is when the genes decide what the animal will grow up to be like, and look like. That is when some genes are turned on and others turned off. What the baby will look like depends on the genes given to them by both parents. Simple as that. Also, babies learn from their parents. A parent sees a new food source that they like, the baby imitates it, next thing you know, the species is developing an adaptation to handle that new food item. Look at lemurs that feed on Eucalyptus leaves in Madagascar. Normally, this would be detrimental to their health. But they've adapted well. There's some big evolutionary possibilities there! Look at the species Fructiphagous on my site. It feeds on eucalyptus leaves and recycles the toxins through pores on their skin to make them distasteful and even toxic to predators. If we humans were to feed on them, we would suffer the same severe symptoms associated with eating the leaves themselves. Not to mention they'd smell like cough drops.
Well, there is just some ideas I think of when I speculate. This is also why I really like working ALONE, with a very select few people. And I do mean *FEW*!!! I don't trust just anyone to critique my ideas, and I don't trust just anyone to give me new ideas. I'm always glad when someone tells me they like my site, I'm even happy when someone says they don't like my site. I always just chalk it up to that person has their views, and I have mine. I've been studying evolution for 20+ years, and I know what I am doing and why I am doing it. The work I've managed to accumulate over the past 20 years has given rise to more than 3000 species in the Metazoic, and that number continues to grow.
Oy, don't diss terrestrial cephalopods in general just because the Future is Wild screwed them up so bad. Terrestrial cephalopods are possible, but not as likely as many other groups poised to take over the land (sharks, the sarcopterygian-like fish, snails, arthropods). For example, I could see terrestrial cephalopods developing from some species of squid and cuttlefish (especially the latter), but they would be as far derived from their ancestors as reptiles are from acanthodians.
Also, it might interest you to know that Oreopithecus is now regarded as an "off-shoot" of the main hominid family tree by some, and that many feel the aquatic ape theory is debunked.
Sorry, but I do not see squids walking the land. Squids cannot even live outside of the deep ocean. How are they ever going to adapt to land? Octopus I can see adapting to land. Squids, no.
Some squids could become benthic creatures, just like octopuses, and then start crawling on the mangroves and slowly taking over land. They would be tiny (spider-sized) creatures that change colors to match the environment and wait 'till insects to approach, and then grab them with their tentacles.
By the way, I love your website and almost all your creatures. Keep up the good work!
Thank you Luciano. I'm glad you enjoy the site.
By squids, I meant cephalopods in general. You know, the group that includes squids, nautiluses, octopi, and cuttlefish, as well as some weird, deep-water groups like vampyroteuthans.
Terrestrial cephalopods are plausible in my opinion.
They could not exist in the way TFIW depicts them, but they could certainly exist.
The most accurate thing TFIW did with cephalopods seems to be the swampus of 100MYF. It just drags itself across the land, eats who knows what (I'd venture to say fish, small birds, and crabs), and stores oxygen in its carapace that has become more lung-like. Though it still has to go back in the water every four days.
If cephalopods ever get onto land, they will most likely use the swampus route.
But land cephalopods will probably not outcompete vertebrates (if they are still around), arthropods, and gastropods.
Just had to throw my two cents in.
That's why I didn't like TFIW. It was just too dumb! I had a spider-like squid somewhere here. But it creeps up the mangrove trees, then retreats back into the water after it has eaten.
TFIW had some pretty plausible creatures, but the squids (minus the rainbow squid) were just silly.
I think if would have been better if TFIW had evolved the land cephalopods from the swampus, evolving the skids into semi-effective legs. Maybe keep suckers on them so they can climb up trees.
That's why I made TFIB: trying to provide a more accurate version of TFIW that actually takes into account what humans did to the Earth.
But I do like the Desert Hopper they had. Metalraptor and I have actually come up with a whole class of organisms based on that critter (only we changed it around to avoid copyright).
I'm just wondering (a little mini-poll):
Which group of creatures seems more plausible?
1. terrestrial cephalopods (octopus, squid, and cuttlefish)
2. walking (not slithering) gastropods (snails)
Personally, I think that both concepts are plausible, but the walking (or hopping) snail seems more plausible to me (snails are already adapted to land, so they don't have to cross that barrier).
Well, call me crazy but I think hopping snails are just as silly as terrestrial squids. Maybe it is just the way TFIW put them, but those squids were senseless.
Canis, I believe you have misstated some of the things about saltokochlids. They are not copying off of The Future Is Wild's desert hoppers at all, rather they are independantly created animals with their own unique anatomy and natural history. Much of this is based on modern day gastropods, other mollusks like cephalopods, and several features are found in vertebrates. The only similarities between saltokochlids and desert hoppers is that they are both terrestrial gastropods, and they both have rough skin.
Past that, there are virtually no similarities. Saltokochlids have "legs", not a single, hopping three-toed foot. Saltokochlids also have a beak, and a pseudoskeleton, rather than a radula which can be shot out like a chameleon's tongue (in most cases). Not to mention that saltokochlids run in many cases, they do not "hop" in the same way as macropods or TFIW's desert hoppers.
And Metazoica, do not bash the saltokochlids just because they are not vertebrates. You have not even heard the natural history of these creatures. While in TFIB's future, there are vertebrates (squamates, terrestrial bichir descendants, and sharks on land, as well as diverse amounts of fish in the sea), giant arthropods also compete in some areas (the largest being crocodile-sized, as well as the saltokochlids. Saltokochlids are not technically snails, although they evolved from them. Saltokochlids are about as closely related to snails as we are to fish. Descended from "herbivorous anaconda"-like gastropods, saltokochlids have developed their own vertebrate-like body plan independant of vertebrates, though the only similarities are that they both have a notochord-like structure and both are internal, rather than external.
Canis, you still have that preliminary picture of a saltokochlid and the essay on their anatomy, do you not? We could always send that to Metazoica, to better explain how these creatures work and how they are plausible.
As for the poll, I believe that of all the non-vertebrate animals out there, the ones with the best chance to get a one-up on vertebrates would be cephalopods, in the sea. Cephalopods have done this before, shoving fish to the side during the Mesozoic when the ammonites and belimnites became diverse, and they may do so again. On land, I feel that the gastropods or the arthropods are the best candidates in case of the rather rare event of vertebrate extinction.
Terrestrial squid are possible, but I feel they are not as likely in the future because there are a lot of other candidates out there to take over in case of vertebrate extinction, such as arthropods, bichir and some of the other primitive actinopterygians, gastropods, and sharks (in which terrestrial forms are possible, by the way). However, do not take this as cephalopods can never develop terrestrial forms. If given the opportunity, cephalopods could develop fully-functional terrestrial forms, although they would probably not act like the squibbon or megasquid from The Future Is Wild, both of which were poorly thought out and implausible.
Well Metalraptor, I guess I can just chalk it up to you having your own opinion. Like I said in an earlier post, no one person can be all right about evolution. It's too complex of a process. But to say boneless animals like slugs and squids will walk like animals like mammals and birds seems unlikely to me. But that's ME. Sorry, but that's how I see it.
Metazoica, please note that saltokochlids are not boneless. You are right in that an animal without a skeleton, internal or external, will not be able to grow to gigantic sizes. However, saltokochlids are supported by a calcium carbonate skeleton, like many mollusks have (though not as well developed, "skeletons" in mollusks today are mostly limited to the pens in squids and shells).
Please also note that originally, vertebrates were not supported by any sort of bony skeleton, being mostly built of cartilage. But at the same time, the cartilage ossified to give the skeleton greater strength, and eventually allowed for animals like tetrapods to evolve. While saltokochlids became terrestrial before they developed the skeleton which allowed them to grow large, they are not animals powered solely by muscle and flesh like the inaccurate megasquids of the future is wild. In a way, they are more of "paravertebrates" than invertebrates.
I actually once came up with a "realistic" land cephalopod that I call Ambuloctopus. It's basically a lot like the swampus, but its four crawling tentacles have evolved into crude legs
I too once came up with a group of plausible terrestrial cephalopods, the tetrateuthids...or maybe it was the terateuthids. Anyway, these animals were cuttlefish cousins (or perhaps shallow-water squids) that had developed an internal calcium carbonate skeleton, and become terrestrial. I had the whole evolutionary history worked out, including how the proto-terateuthid took its cuttlebone or pen, and turned it into functional legs. I think all speculative biologists have played around with the idea of terrestrial cephalopods at one time or another, mostly prompted by The Future Is Wild (yes, even you Metazoica. You told me yourself).
Oh I never denied that I had a semi-terrestrial spider-like squid. Actually it's a tree-climber. But it just creeps up trees. Doesn't walk or nothing like that.
But it lives out of the water, at least for a short period of time. Hence, it is terrestrial.
I've noticed an error on your cladogram. You have the ailurocyonids listed under the caniformes as a sister taxon to the raccoons when they should be under the feliformes. Why is this?
Because they are the sister group to the raccoons, not feliformians. Ailurocyonids are descended from the ringtail of North America (Bassariscus astutus), a species of procyonid. But due to cladistics, they have to be listed as a sister group to the procyonids.
Well, in my book they are classified as feliformes, and a spin-off of the Barofelids.
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