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, October 20, 2009

Bat-Eared Foxes Need Better Defenses!

Did anyone catch the NatGeo programs about dinosaurs that I mentioned last week? I did. Horner mentioned quite a bit on there. He spoke of dinosaur defenses. Triceratops for example may not have used it's horns for defense. You would think they would have, but being the fact that they had the horns on their heads it would be impossible for them to use the horns for defense. Horner stated the last place you ever want any defensive weapons would be on your head. It makes sense, since it would just give the predator an open invitation to bite you on the back of your neck. Though I don't know, maybe that is why Triceratops and all other ceratopsids had those big frills.

Though I have seen some modern mammals with horns use them as a defensive device. For instance, one time I saw a gazelle chase away a cheetah with it's horns. And wild boar often use their tusks for defense as well. So, it's not totally unheard of for an animal to use some of it's head dressing for defensive weapons. Some animals even use their teeth for weapons, like baboons. A male baboon has canines equally as long as those of a leopard's, and sometimes even gets the best of leopards with them too. They've even been known to kill leopards. The best protected animals however are the ones that have their defenses on the tails or on the backs. Like we see in porcupines. Think of the dinosaurs that had spikes and clubs on their tails, like stegosaurs and ankylosaurs. They could disable a predator with those defenses.

Old animals (like old movie stars) seemed to have a lot more character than they do today. No mammals today have spiked or clubbed tails. Though we do see mammals with spikes on their bodies. But very little energy is needed to raise your spikes, or curl up in an impenetrable ball. I wonder if this means that dinosaurs were much more active animals than modern mammals? Perhaps. The last mammals to employ such a mechanism as a clubbed tail were the glyptodonts. But no mammal around today has any of these kind of weapons.

Bat-eared foxes are probably one of the most victimized carnivores in Africa! Even the smaller felines, like the caracal, can bring them down. I think it would do these primitive foxes some good if they could evolve some kind of defensive weapons of their own. It seems their big ears are great for hearing for termites underground, but seem to be useless in hearing for some feline sneaking up behind them. They have a long crest of stiff hairs on their back that probably should evolve into porcupine-like quills. They have stiff hairs on their tails, that I think should evolve into hard spikes that they can swat at a predator to say, "Keep away from me, or I'll poke your eyes out you fool!!" Maybe get a little bit bigger too, to be able to stay out of reach of such felines as caracals. These are adaptations I think would keep these attractive foxes a little more safe.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Sorry to burst your bubble, but I think it's unrealistic to imagine that bat-eared foxes would evolve porcupine-like spikes on their backs. No carnivoran ever has, and probably never will.

Timgal said...

I know that. I just think it'd be better for the foxes to evolve more sophisticated defenses. If even a caracal can bring them down, then the poor things are virtually defenseless.

Anonymous said...

Well, there's ONE feline that might have aplace for itself in the Metazoic!

Timgal said...

Maybe the early half. But then bat-eared foxes still need more sophisticated defenses.

Canis said...

Actually, this wouldn't work as a feline. Foxes are canids. Not felids.



Other than that, interesting idea. Though the mammalian defense mechanism is more often than not running. This is due to that fact that we are more active.


Think about it: most scientists now agree that dinosaurs were either warm-blooded, or partially warm-blooded. But, as you may be thinking, so are the mammals.

Well, dinosaurs (thanks to their archosaurian skeletal structure) could get bigger than mammals (no mammal (on land) has reached dinosaur size, and probably never will). As such, they'd have massive bones, thus large muscle mass, thus a large diet to supply these muscles with energy, thus a larger stomach, thus a larger bulk.

Dinosaurs had to spend the majority of their time eating. Even the carnivores. This is why most herbivorous dinosaurs had clubbed tails, spiked tails, and head-horns: they wanted a slow, quick, energy efficient way to take down predators.

By the end of the Cretaceous, most dinosaurs were becoming smaller and sleeker. As such, you began to see less spikes, clubs, and horns in the fossil record (though it is true that ceratopsians evolved at this time). This seems to suggest that as a creature becomes smaller, it relies more on speed than biological weaponry.


In other words: speed is the best defense. But, if you're slow (or bulky), shells, spikes, clubs, or horns are your best defense.

Just look at turtles, the now-extinct glyptodont, and armadillos to a certain extent.



So, in my opinion, the best defense for bat eared foxes are a better camouflage and a better hearing mechanism (as of now, bat eared foxes have their ears evolved mostly as a cooling unit (though they can hear termites underground, but that's partly due to the foxes pressing their heads near the ground).

Timgal said...

Good idea Canis.

Anonymous said...

I was talking about caracals, not bat-eared foxes.