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 20, 2010
Beaks Transformed Dinosaurs, Expanding Diet
The beak was like nature's Swiss Army knife because it provided many tools in one unit.
By Jennifer Viegas
The emergence of the beak on dinosaurs was "an evolutionary innovation," according to a new study that found this seemingly simple trait is like nature's Swiss Army knife because it functions as many tools in one.
Over time, many dinosaurs replaced their toothy grins with beaks to aid their transition to plant eating, according to the new study that is published in the latest Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
"As modern animals such as birds and turtles demonstrate, a beak can be adapted to function for a variety of purposes from processing different food types -- nuts, fruits, leaves and meat -- to grooming and other behaviors," co-author Lindsay Zanno told Discovery News.
"The evolution of a beak was an evolutionary innovation because it was a new anatomical structure that hadn't been available to theropods before, therefore it provided a new means for theropods to process foods and engage in other behaviors that they hadn't had access to up to this point," added Zanno, a researcher at the Field Museum.
She and colleague Peter Makovicky came to that conclusion after collecting dietary data for theropods, a group of two-footed dinos colloquially known as "predatory" dinosaurs. The group includes some famous flesh-eaters like Tyrannosaurs rex, which turns out to be a very primitive, old-school dinosaur.
"Carnivory is always rare relative to herbivory in animal communities because food availability becomes more scarce as you move up the food chain," said Zanno. "It takes a ton of plant material to sustain a lot of herbivores and a lot of herbivores to sustain a few carnivores."
Many of T. rex's closest relatives were therefore content with vegetarian fare, according to the scientists. The researchers looked at evidence that included fossilized dinosaur dung, stomach contents, tooth marks, gastric stones and even two dinosaurs locked in the throes of combat. All helped to reveal what theropods ate.
Zanno and Makovicky found nearly two dozen anatomical features that are linked to plant-based diets.
Zanno explained that important traits associated with herbivory are tooth loss, beaks, different tooth shapes (leaf, peg conical), multiple tooth types in one animal, tooth elongation (including rodent-like incisors), and long necks.
The researchers believe beaks evolved at least five times in theropods alone. Other dinosaurs, like ceratopsians and hadrosaurs, had them too.
"The ancestors to birds had teeth as did many early birds, so none of the toothless forms are directly ancestral to birds," Zanno explained.
The researchers conclude that "the ancestor to birds was likely to be at least omnivorous," which raises some interesting questions. For example, the scientists hope to find out if the shift to a more vegetarian diet led to the evolution of four-winged gliding and flight.
Thomas Holtz, director of the Earth, Life and Time Program at the University of Maryland, told Discovery News that he agrees that T. rex was a more primitive dinosaur that "inherited the ancient theropod condition of meat eating," and that many other T. rex relatives were either 100 percent vegetarian or transitioned from eating large prey to eating insects.
The new look at "predatory" dinosaurs also reveals "that the unquestionably carnivorous dromaeosaurid 'raptors' (such as Velociraptor and Deinonychus) evolved from plant-eating ancestors," Holtz added.
Living birds include carnivores, herbivores and omnivores, so their diversity and complexity today appears to be echoed in their distant dinosaur past.
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
The smallest species in this family is Aquambulus. This is perhaps also the smallest Metazoic mammal. Overall length, including the tail, is less than 4 inches, with the tail being as long as the head and body, and the muzzle being almost 1/3 as long as the head and body. The bone structure is almost entirely made up of air sacs, making this animal incredibly light and bouyant. The feet are club-shaped and the toes are flat and feather-shaped and they have a series of long, stiff hairs between the toes. These stiff hairs, coupled with very soft, fine, downy hair that also grows between the toes, traps in an air bubble, which enables this animal to skim the water's surface without the threat of sinking in or drowning. Just in case, the fur is also fine, profuse and silky, and waterproof, enabling this animal to float back to the surface should they somehow be taken under. This animal has such small ears, that they are almost not visible underneath the thick fur on the head. The fur around the eyes and on the muzzle is the shortest on the animal, and is black in color. This allows them to see through the water for tiny minnows and insects, and possibly for underwater predators. When necessary, these animals can move very quickly over the water's surface to escape danger. Usually retreating to land if need be.
The largest animal in this family is the species of Harundopes. Though they are tailless, they can stand up to 4 feet tall, and weigh about 50 pounds. The legs are long and slender, and the neck is longer than the body, and highly flexible. This animal inhabits areas of a lake where reeds grow abundant, and their unique coloring allows them to stay hidden. The legs are slender enough to resemble the reeds themselves. So, this animal would be almost impossible to detect by potential prey, or even by predators. They are very slow-moving when on the hunt, quietly and patiently stalking underwater prey, and then quickly darting their head into the water to snatch a passing fish. Fish make up most of this animal's diet, but they may also prey on young birds and smaller aquatic mammals, including Aquambulus. The closely related Hemiardea shares much the same hunting features and techniques as Harundopes, but is smaller and has a long tail.
The most remarkable species in this family is Penacodas. This animal is born hairless, blind and deaf, as most species in this family are. But a remarkable thing happens as they mature. They grow large, stiff, whisker-like hairs on their tail, coupled with interwoven soft and silky downy-like fur. These hairs grow backwards, instead of toward the tip of the tail. Once this shrew is ready to leave the nest, much like young spiders do now, they go to a bare branch, tree stump, or anything else that they can capture the wind from with little or no obstacles, and allow the breeze to capture the fur on their tail and carry them off. The long, whiskery hairs hold the downy fur steady and makes a sort of built-in parachute. This can carry these animals for many miles. Once these animals have reached a certain age, these hairs fall completely off. Mature adults are basically featureless. Much like Aquambulus, Penacodas is very small and very light, the bone structure is almost completely made up of air sacs, which allows this animal to weigh less than the wind it's self. Though this species is somewhat larger than Aquambulus.
Because of their smaller size, these animals have many predators. Small species may be eaten by the larger species, or snatched by predatory fish, snakes, lizards and other carnivorous mammals. Larger species may fall prey to Deinognathids, mongooses and predatory bats. Whenever necessary, these animals can move fast and hide quickly. Some shelter in burrows, while others shelter in reed beds, or some in tree hollows. If caught, these animals can bite very hard. Carnosuncus especially has powerful jaws, used for crushing snail shells. They can deliver a very nasty bite! Though that does not always deter a hungry Spathodon or Tamanoa.
Well, tomorrow is my sis's birthday and I will be out all day long. Enjoy your week!
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
The sub-family Regniinae differ from other species by being bipedal walkers. Regnium, for example, walks bipedally all the time. It is a terrestrial hunter that habitually feeds on antelope, monkeys, lemurs, rodents, and anything else it can capture. Stolidus is a rabbit-sized animal that lives mostly in the trees, clinging to the branches with sharp, curved, retractable claws. The tail is long and thick, but it is not prehensile. Though sometimes when the animal it's self is a rest, it will curl it's tail up under it's self, or sometimes even twist it around a vine, more like a twist-tie than like a second hand. They move slowly with all four limbs in the trees, but when on the ground, they move only on their hind legs, and in a quicker motion than they use in the trees. They move more like armadillos walking fast on the ground, with their forelegs tucked under their torso. Stolidus is mostly insectivorous. They favor the meat of beetles, cicadas, grubs, spiders and cockroaches. They also will feed on bird eggs, fledgelings, small bats, and tree-dwelling rodents. Regnium is mostly a product of the early Metazoic, while Stolidus is a mid-to-late Metazoic period genus.
The sub-family Ruoninae is quite different from the Regniinae. These are the truly dog-like species, that move about on all fours. Though some are capable of walking on their hind legs for short periods, they are not true bipeds like the Regniinae. This is a very varied sub-family. Ruo is the one species that very closely resembles a modern wolf. Though it is slightly larger. They are pack hunters, designed to bring down animals up to the size of a young gigantelope. They do not have retractable claws or the strength to hold down a large animal like that. They kill their prey by eating it.
The most remarkable species in this group are also within this subfamily. Utrarius is one of them. This animal is a desert dweller. The females are equipped with a sack that stores water that she can bring home to her helpless babies. The babies are often kept in a nest, so when the mother leaves to hunt, she covers the nest with whatever she can find. And she will store water in this water pouch to give to her babies that are not old enough to follow her to the watering hole, yet are too old to suckle. Another fascinating species are of the genus Naiadis. These animals live in rivers and streams. The body is much like an otter's but the head and neck is a lot like a heron's. These animals are good swimmers. They also use their head and neck to snatch at prey. They sit very still, sometimes for hours, in the shallow water, watching the surface for fish and any other aquatic creatures, such as shrimp and other crustaceans. When something edible swims beneath them, they shoot their head in and snatch the prey. The legs are very short, and really only good for swimming. They cannot move too well over land.
Though these animals are predatory, they also have their own set of enemies to beware of. Deinognathids and dogs are their main predators. While Deinognathids will prey on any of the species, dogs mostly concentrate on the smaller animals. These animals can defend themselves by inflating and looking bigger. They snarl and growl as well to appear more menacing. The jaws and claws can inflict some harsh wounds. The females with young are naturally more aggressive. Though little can be done to deter a large, hungry Deinognathid.
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
The largest claws belong to the genus Falconyx. These animals have developed large, curved claws on the first toes that are carried well off the ground. They hunt and kill the way other species in this family do. When a prey item is spotted, these animals do a quick pounce, grabbing the head with their large jaws and using the feet to slash open the body, often gutting their prey. The claws are mostly what is used, not really their jaws. Often when the animal pounces on a prey item, they will begin slashing them immediately, taking the prey's head in their jaws only if the prey is proving difficult to overcome by their feet. Much like today's Secretary bird, they stomp on the prey, using the claws to cut it open, and kill that way. They are fast, and can even outwit venomous snakes.
The main prey of these animals are snakes and large lizards like tegus and monitors. Any snakes will do. They will even stand up to medium-sized anacondas. Though not the full-grown 50-footers. However, when snakes and lizards are not available, like during the winter months, these animals will often take deer, antelope, lemurs, monkeys, rodents, birds and bats, even scavenge off the kills of other animals. All prey is killed much in the same manner. Birds and bats are a little more difficult for these animals, but they will often leap up to 10 feet into the air just to pluck prey out of the sky, the stiff tail being used as a balancing rod. It is during the harshest months that these animals often become active hunters during the day as well.
Though their powerful jaws and sharp claws may be useful as weapons, these animals still have their own set of predators to worry about. Deinognathids are among their worst enemies. Giant anacondas also take their toll. Rarely, they may be taken by such animals as large dogs, predatory bats, even larger species of this family may feed on the smaller.
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Uvidictis is among the most interesting species, by being semi-aquatic crab and fish-eaters. They are perhaps the only species that hunt their own food, rather than scavenge kills from other animals. They are not long-distance divers like the juriffars, or even like the water dogs, but rather wade in the shallows, topping over rocks and stones to search for crabs, crayfish and fish. Their sharp, curved claws and padded paws are designed to grasp fish. The teeth are sharp and jaws powerful enough to easily crush the shell of crayfish, or crush through the tough armor scales of some catfish. The basic appearance of these animals is a lot like a modern raccoon. They are not really slenderly built, and have very little webbing on their feet, yet their fur is thick, oily, and waterproof. The eyes are rather large and the ears are small. The sense of smell in Uvidictis is poorer than in other zofons, as they hunt mostly by sight and by feel.
One species in this family, Dirogale noxia, bears the funny name of 'big-footed zofon'. This is a design of these animals to get around easily in their mountainous homes. The rather over-sized feet allows this animal to easily get a grasp on the uneven surfaces of boulders and move around without much threat of falling. They have the ability to use their claws much like a monkey uses it's toes. This is a good-sized animal, but it is not the largest in the family. That honor belongs to Truculentus, which are about the size of today's tapirs. They have large claws, but they do not use their claws in killing prey. Most of the time, the claws are used for either defense, or swatted at intruders as a threat, reminding them to stay off their territory, or when they take over a kill to keep other scavengers away.
Though these animals are tough customers, they themselves are not without dangerous enemies. Large deinognathids are perhaps their worst enemies. Large viverrids like Tarboailurus may also prey on these animals. Most of the time, the predator gets angry because the scavenger is intruding on their kill. Zofons are very brazen, much like hyenas today are, and often unintelligently approach a predator on it's kill only to be chased away, or even killed. Small species like Uvidictis are sometimes taken by snakes, crocodiles, predatory bats, and smaller deinognathids as well.
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
These animals basically prefer to inhabit open oceans, much like modern cetaceans. Other, closely related families, that actually descended from this family, can also travel on land, pulling themselves along with the help of their flippers, moving from one water hole to another. Or inhabiting lagoons, especially where there is an abundance of kelp or other such vegetation. But this family cannot do any of that, and find all the food and companionship they need in the ocean. These animals feed on fish, crustaceans, and cephalopods. Their beaks are equipped with small, stabbing teeth, which helps to grasp their slippery prey. The eyesight is mostly poor, except at the surface. These animals are not usually deep divers, and prefer to capture their prey at night, particularly when such creatures as squid come to the surface. Even in sheer darkness, these animals snap up the fast-moving squid with amazing accuracy! Because they do not hunt by sight alone. Like dolphins, these animals deploy the use of sound to locate prey.
Among the most vocal members of this rather small family, is in the genus Loquax. These animals have more than 100 different vocalizations, but the main one is the one they use to hunt prey. Their sounds stun fish and other prey to a point where the prey becomes paralyzed. The prey cannot swim away, thus it is snapped up by Loquax. Most of the time, the prey is swallowed in one gulp, but these animals can attack prey about half the length of their own head and body. Prey this size is torn rapidly into chunks by the entire pod and then eaten. Much like we would see in wolves or wild dogs.
Like today's whales and dolphins, there is a small, triangular fin on the back, the dorsal fin. This is present in almost all species in this family except Natacelus, which instead has a rather narrow ridge on the back where the fin would be at. But this animal still retains other dolphin-like qualities. These animals are fast and agile, often leaping half their body length out of the water. They are however not without predators of their own. Sea genets are among some of the worst enemies of these animals. Sharks also take their toll. For these sinecrus, their best defense is speed, and staying within a group.
Below I have a rather crude sample of what these creatures look like. I have given 2 examples of species from this family. One is Venaria, which is a species most notable for it's paddle-shaped tail, and also has a small dorsal fin on the back. The other species depicted is Natacelus, which lacks the dorsal fin. Click on the pic to make it bigger.
Monday, August 30, 2010
And yes, I did do each frame individually all by myself, and I put them together all by myself, and added the sound, all done by me. If you'd like to know how I did it, I did each frame in Paint Shop Pro, and put them together in Windows Movie Maker. I got the sounds from Sounddogs.com. It's not really hard if you know all the tricks to animation it's self.
Monday, August 2, 2010
There is some controversy surrounding the presence of Phobogula on my Metazoic checklist because I included TFIW's snow-stalker within this genus. However, the basic design of Phobogula was already decided by me in 1994, when I first started up this family. Basically, the "snow-stalker" design was stolen from me--IF you want to talk in terms of splitting hairs. But I personally don't care. In fact, I'm happy someone else thought of this design other than me. Phobogula is perhaps the largest and bulkiest species in this family, it somewhat resembles a giant wolverine, it's claws are retractable, and along with Oreomustela, has the only retractable claws in the family. This way, they are kept razor sharp. The canines are long and sharp and the jaws are powerful enough to crush heavy bones, including those of large deer and antelope. This animal scavenges from time to time, but they also kill their own prey. The feet are flat and act as highly effective snowshoes. The fur is thick and covers the body. These animals are tough, and often run other predators off their own kills, including some of the toughest predators like Ictocamelus.
Onychopekan is another species that I kinda "took" from After Man, and re-made it my own. In After Man, it was called Hastatus, and was a small, gliding weasel descendant. But I quickly realized that was a bad idea! So instead, I made it to resemble today's fisher martens. Like the fishers, these animals live in trees, but do not glide from one tree to another. However, they do hop in monkey-like fashion. They have long, sharp claws that are non-retractable, but great for grasping the tree trunks as they are coming in for a landing. They are about the same size as today's fisher martens, and are equipped with prehensile tails for grasping the tree trunks effectively as they leap and as they land. They are wholly carnivorous, reining death on prey as large as deer, often leaping down on their backs from considerable heights, killing them with a stabbing bite to the neck or back of the head. Once their prey is killed, it is carried into the trees to be consumed in solitude.
The smallest member of this family is Nanomustela, which is about the size of a mouse. It is possibly the Metazoic's smallest carnivore. However, because it is small does not mean it is helpless. This animal often kills prey 5 times it's size! These little weasels live among the rocks of the northern mountains in the barrier range. They are quite agile over these rocks as well, in spite of their small size, they can leap as far as 8 feet in a single bound. Their basic form is much like we see today in the least weasel (Mustela nivalis), the body is tiny, the tail is very short, and basically their overall form is very mouselike.
Like the modern weasel family, this group even has it's aquatic species. Weasels generally like living near lakes and streams, but the juriffars are almost fully aquatic animals. Thalictis is much more aquatic than Aquaictis, and the legs of Thalictis have even been completely reduced to flippers. Because of this, they cannot use tools to crush open their prey, like their modern counterparts the sea otters. Instead, they are equipped with crushing jaws and teeth that break through the defenses of mussels, clams, urchins and other sea invertebrates. Including a species of Metazoic sea urchin that has poison-tipped spines. Thalictis are immune to their stings. A third genus of these aquatic weasels, Ictopotamus, lives in estuaries and the river systems in the Ganges. Ictopotamus has a heavy covering of whiskers on it's nose, which they use to feel the bottom of the river for prey. The tails of these animals are as long, or longer than, the head and body. The legs are short, the eyes, ears and nostrils are placed at the top of the head, which often sticks up from the top of the waterline. The ears are small, and are able to close tightly to keep out water. The eyes are large to be able to see well in murky water, and the nostrils also close tightly to keep out water. All the feet are webbed in all species. The primary prey for these animals are fish, squid, shellfish, crayfish, and crabs.
Though the Metazoic weasels are tough and muscular, they are not without enemies of their own. Deinognathids will sometimes prey on them. Even Phobogula, the largest species, may be killed by an impatient Ictocamelus protecting it's kill. Dogs and snakes may take the smaller species, predatory bats often kill Onychopekan when it is being particularly unwary and in the trees. Thalictis is sometimes taken by sea genets. Cats may also sometimes take one of the smaller species, or the young of larger species. Oftentimes, the larger species, like Phobogula, will also prey on the smaller species. Usually the most common victims of "family cannibalism" from Phobogula is Vulpemustela, which is a medium-sized, foxlike weasel. If it is caught in the path of Phobogula, the larger animal will kill Vulpemustela if it cannot get away fast enough.
Monday, July 26, 2010
Also among the animals I've added this past week, a large, bear-like descendant of the marmot, a giant bushbaby (actually the size of a medium dog), "mouse-wallabies" which are very small kangaroos that live in underground burrows, and a few more species of bats, named for some new Facebook friends I got over the past month or so. I will be putting up the new checklist when the new site is posted. Would anyone like to contribute to the new site? I'd really appreciate your help. I need to raise $650 to complete the construction of the new site. If everyone could just give one or two dollars a piece, it'd help out a lot! Or whatever amount you'd like to give is most helpful. If you'd like to contribute to this fund, please click the picture link above to donate. The finished site will be worth it, believe me! And those who contribute, I'll see that you get either free or discounted membership!
I've been thinking over the membership portion of the site, it's going to be fun! I'll have videos of these animals in action, video games, members can even rate and comment on each of the animals posted. Oh yes! Remember to check out this week's Family of the Week! It's the true shrews.
Sunday, July 25, 2010
The species of Miasorex are the most unique of true shrews. Instead of being the tiny, scampering, small-eyed animals we are familiar with today, they are large--generally about 10 inches in length, with large, almond-shaped eyes, large, diamond-shaped ears, and are bipedal. There are 6 listed species of Miasorex, and all are the same in basic form. Instead of running, like regular shrews do, these animals hop like miniature kangaroos. Their tail, which is longer than the head and body, is used for balance, and aids somewhat in launching the animal off the ground. The babies, instead of clinging to the back of the mother, cling to the thick fur on the belly with their long, sharp claws, and hold on tight.
The smallest species in this family are in the genus Suncus. Even today, this genus contains some of the smallest living mammals on Earth. The species S. etruscus, is less than an inch long. These animals are still around during the early part of the Metazoic. These are among the species that must constantly eat to stay alive, so these animals are constantly on the move, day and night, and takes only short naps. Like all shrews, these animals feed on insects.
Most species feed on insects, particularly the smaller species. But the largest, Melesuncus, feeds on other mammals and birds. This shrew is equipped with sharp claws and large teeth, and quite an aggressive demeanor. They live in burrows that they dig themselves, and are mostly active during the day. They use their weapons and power to overpower their prey. Unlike smaller shrews, these animals do not need to feed every few hours. Another genus in this family, Nectogale, feeds on aquatic insects and minnows. In this species, the hind feet are paddle-shaped, and the tail is flat sideways. They spend a lot of their time in the water hunting, and are very good divers and swimmers. The feet are used for paddling, the tail is simply streamlined for water resistance.
Shrews are basically preyed upon by everything from bats to small deinognathids. Shrews tend to defend themselves by staying undercover. Some, like Miasorex, can escape by hopping fast. Melesuncus is a fighter, and uses it's claws and teeth as formiddible weapons.
Monday, July 19, 2010
Here's the link!
Scientists say Gulf spill altering food web
By MATTHEW BROWN and RAMIT PLUSHNICK-MASTI, Associated Press Writers Matthew Brown And Ramit Plushnick-masti, Associated Press Writers – Wed Jul 14, 9:04 am ET
NEW ORLEANS – Scientists are reporting early signs that the Gulf of Mexico oil spill is altering the marine food web by killing or tainting some creatures and spurring the growth of others more suited to a fouled environment.
Near the spill site, researchers have documented a massive die-off of pyrosomes — cucumber-shaped, gelatinous organisms fed on by endangered sea turtles.
Along the coast, droplets of oil are being found inside the shells of young crabs that are a mainstay in the diet of fish, turtles and shorebirds.
And at the base of the food web, tiny organisms that consume oil and gas are proliferating.
If such impacts continue, the scientists warn of a grim reshuffling of sealife that could over time cascade through the ecosystem and imperil the region's multibillion-dollar fishing industry.
Federal wildlife officials say the impacts are not irreversible, and no tainted seafood has yet been found. But Rep. Ed Markey, D-Mass., who chairs a House committee investigating the spill, warned Tuesday that the problem is just unfolding and toxic oil could be entering seafood stocks as predators eat contaminated marine life.
"You change the base of the food web, it's going to ripple through the entire food web," said marine scientist Rob Condon, who found oil-loving bacteria off the Alabama coastline, more than 90 miles from BP's collapsed Deepwater Horizon drill rig. "Ultimately it's going to impact fishing and introduce a lot of contaminants into the food web."
The food web is the fundamental fabric of life in the Gulf. Once referred to as the food chain, the updated term reflects the cyclical nature of a process in which even the largest predator becomes a food source as it dies and decomposes.
What has emerged from research done to date are snapshots of disruption across a swath of the northern Gulf of Mexico. It stretches from the 5,000-feet deep waters at the spill site to the continental shelf off Alabama and the shallow coastal marshes of Louisiana.
Much of the spill — estimated at up to 182 million gallons of oil and around 12 billion cubic feet of natural gas — was broken into small droplets by chemical dispersants at the site of the leaking well head. That reduced the direct impact to the shoreline and kept much of the oil and natural gas suspended in the water.
But immature crabs born offshore are suspected to be bringing that oil — tucked into their shells — into coastal estuaries from Pensacola, Fla., to Galveston, Texas. Oil being carried by small organisms for long distances means the spill's effects could be wider than previously suspected, said Tulane professor Caz Taylor.
Chemical oceanographer John Kessler from Texas A&M University and geochemist David Valentine from the University of California-Santa Barbara recently spent about two weeks sampling the waters in a six-mile radius around the BP-operated Deepwater Horizon rig. More than 3,000 feet below the surface, they found natural gas levels have reached about 100,000 times normal, Kessler said.
Already those concentrations are pushing down oxygen levels as the gas gets broken down by bacteria, Kessler and Valentine said. When oxygen levels drop low enough, the breakdown of oil and gas grinds to a halt and most life can't be sustained.
The researchers also found dead pyrosomes covering the Gulf's surface in and around the spill site. "There were thousands of these guys dead on the surface, just a mass eradication of them," Kessler said.
Scientists said they believe the pyrosomes — six inches to a foot in length — have been killed by the toxins in the oil because there have no other explanation, though they plan further testing.
The researchers say the dead creatures probably are floating to the surface rather than sinking because they have absorbed gas bubbles as they filtered water for food.
The death of pyrosomes could set off a ripple effect. One species that could be directly affected by what is happening to the pyrosomes would be sea turtles, said Laurence Madin, a research director at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Cape Cod, Mass. Some larger fish, such as tuna, may also feed on pyrosomes.
"If the pyrosomes are dying because they've got hydrocarbons in their tissues and then they're getting eaten by turtles, it's going to get into the turtles," said Madin. It was uncertain whether that would kill or sicken the turtles.
The BP spill also is altering the food web by providing vast food for bacteria that consume oil and gas, allowing them to flourish.
At the same time, the surface slick is blocking sunlight needed to sustain plant-like phytoplankton, which under normal circumstances would be at the base of the food web.
Phytoplankton are food for small bait fish such as menhaden, and a decline in those fish could reduce tuna, red snapper and other populations important to the Gulf's fishing industries, said Condon, a researcher with Alabama's Dauphin Island Sea Lab.
Seafood safety tests on hundreds of fish, shrimp and other marine life that could make it into the food supply so far have turned up negative for dangerous oil contamination.
Assuming the BP gusher is stopped and the cleanup successful, government and fishing industry scientists said the Gulf still could rebound to a healthy condition.
Ron Luken, chief scientist for Omega Protein, a Houston-based company that harvests menhaden to extract fish oil, says most adult fish could avoid the spill by swimming to areas untainted by crude. Young fish and other small creatures already in those clean waters could later repopulate the impacted areas.
"I don't think anybody has documented wholesale changes," said Steve Murawski, chief scientist for the National Marine Fisheries Service. "If that actually occurs, that has a potentially great ramification for life at the higher end of the food web."
Monday, July 12, 2010
The most interesting species is Murognathus. It is a small, deer-like deinognathid that lives in the jungle underbrush and feeds on carrion. This animal is interesting in that it has elongated incisors, like a rodent's incisors. Like all deinognathids though, there are 4 sets of incisors, but in Murognathus, they are longer in proportion than in any other species. The reason for this is to be able to pick larger bones clean, and even gnaw through to get at the marrow. They are basically exactly like miniature hyenas, with different dental forumulas. Their small size enables them to squeeze through the larger scavengers and hardly be noticed.
Deinognathus contains some of the largest species, and the largest predatory land mammals ever. These are giants with big heads, bipedal stance, a long, thick tail, the head is like that of a camel, and tiny, round ears. The teeth are long and designed for crushing, with good reason. The common prey of this animal is the southern gigantelope (Megalodorcas antarctica), and the vertebrae of this animal is very thick and tough. Once a predator can crush the vertebrae, the gigantelope goes down. Deinognathus is designed to do this. Though the gigantelope is their more common prey item, Deinognathus will feed on anything from coatis and lemurs to large anacolls. Deinognathus is also a scavenger as well. At the kills of other large animals, they use their size to muscle in on the smaller scavengers. The diet of Deinognathus is about half-and-half. That is half is pre-killed and half is killed by Deinognathus it's self. D. robustus, the largest species, inhabits rather dry areas, and has special adaptations to deal with the frequent dust storms that come up. They have nostrils that can shut tight to keep out sand. They have long eyelashes to also keep sand out of the eyes. They also have thick fur tufts in the ears to keep sand out. The smallest species of Deinognathus is D. minutus, and it lives in the jungle. It stands about as tall as an average human. These animals are much more active hunters than the larger species, therefore it feeds more often on animals it kills it's self. These animals are oftentimes social, and hunt in packs.
A good representative of the deer-like species are Ictocamelus and Tamanoa. There are 3 species of Ictocamelus and one species of Tamanoa. Tamanoa is the most widespread species, occuring throughout all of Eurasia in a variety of habitats. They even live as far south as Australia and northern Africa. Deer-like deinognathids normally feed only on what they kill themselves. They hunt by chasing their prey to exhaustion and killing it when it is down and weakened by the chase. Often the prey is consumed while it is still alive. Deer-like species often hunt in packs for this reason. A single individual would not be able to bring down large prey, as they have no claws or hands, and little more than teeth and sheer power to hold down their victims. Like dogs, Ictocamelus and Tamanoa can run for several hours without tiring. The body form of these animals is like that of a deer or antelope, only more slenderly built, with a long, thick tail, and thick fur.
The smallest deinognathids of all are the pervadines. These are semi-aquatic beach-combers. These animals take the place of sandpipers during the Metazoic. They have long noses, with the nostrils being placed closer to the head, large eyes, and the hands are designed to probe into the sand. The legs are long and slender, and these animals can move quite fast along the sand. The index finger is the longest fingers, and may be twice as long as the otherwise longest fingers. The size of these deinognathids ranges from about the size of a sparrow to the size of a chicken. Though I have placed these animals in the same sub-family as Reginictis, which is an aquatic animal, they are in their own tribe Pervadini, and it is this adaptation of the fingers that sets them apart. There are 5 different genera of Pervadines, all have the same features in the hands. They use their elongated fingers to probe into the sand, feel for potential food items, like clams and sand eels, and then reach into the hole with their elongated snout to dig them out.
Though Deinognathids are the top predators in their range, they are not always without threats. Particularly the young are most vulnerable. Other deinognathids are the main predators. Larger species often feed on the smaller species, and sometimes the young of the larger species. Sometimes, they even practice cannibalism among other members of their own species. The pervadines are often prey for large predatory sea bats like Acerictus and the larger Glaromyscus species. Small deinognathids may also fall prey to dogs, snakes and mongooses.
Monday, July 5, 2010
The coatis in the Metazoic are not only equipped with a highly developed sense of smell, but with flexible fingers and long, sharp claws. The flexibility of the fingers allows these animals to grasp fat grubs, fruits and other food items and draw them up to the mouth to be consumed. The long, sharp claws is used to dig, or pry open rotten logs or as traps to capture small rodents and other small animals and hold them tight so they cannot struggle free. The two genera of coati types are Bidenictis and Nasuunguis. Bidenictis is smaller and the males are equipped with tusks that protrude out the mouth. These are for show rather than for eating. Nasuunguis is also called the "hog-nosed coati", and does indeed have a long, flat, pig-like nose. The area around the nose is hard, rather like a callous, that aids in sniffing and digging at the same time. Coatis are omnivores, the majority of the food they consume is animal matter. Fruit, berries and nuts make up about 20% of their diet.
This family is a highly varied family. There are species that are almost humanoid-like in appearance (Procyon sapiens). Some are bear-like in appearance (Onychocyon). Some are cat-like in appearance (Neoprocyon). Some are fox-like (Alepousa). Some are carnivores (Neoprocyon and Alepousa). Some are herbivores (Calamophagus).
The most fascinating species is Procyon sapiens. The genus Procyon has been separated into 2 sub-genera. P. sapiens is the sole species in the sub-genus Metacyon, while all other species are in the sub-genus Procyon. P. sapiens differs by being bigger, and has actually learned to use tools to handle prey. They are actually more social than other raccoons, living in some of the largest groups of any carnivores. The hands are capable of grasping almost as good as those of the primates. The sense of smell is less developed than in other raccoon species. The communication is even more complex than in any other carnivore species. This particular species has more than 100 different vocalizations, each call used for different tasks. There are distinct calls to identify family members, to let others know their social rank, to assign separate tasks to which ever group members, and even for spotting predators. In fact, each predator may have a distinct identifying call.
The only herbivorous species is Calamophagus, known as the Metazoic pandas. They are also the only Old World members of the raccoon family. There are 5 species of panda. They are strictly vegetarian, and only feed on bamboo. Either they will feed on the stems, or tender shoots and leaves. They have hands and feet much like a monkey's, and are able to climb the stalks to get up to the fresh leaves and feed. The tail is usually long, and flexible, but not really prehensile.
Raccoons and relatives are not without predators. Deinognathids are among the worst. Young Deinognathus species are common predators of the coatis and raccoons. Tamanoa is known to actively feed on Calamophagus in the orient. Dogs, Barofelids, Ailurocyonids, snakes, predatory bats, and raptors are also predators of various procyonids. These animals are not pushovers though. They have sharp teeth, and can bite hard. The claws can also turn into formiddible weapons. These combined with a very quick temper make these animals very tough adversaries.
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
These animals live all over, including the Batavian Islands, where smaller Regisciurids drifted in on small floating islands from the mainland. There are 2 species that inhabit the Batavian Islands, those are Regisciuria vulpinus and Callixerus pennicillata. These animals are no bigger than today's foxes and hunt ground-dwelling bats. They are quick and agile animals and will chase prey for short distances, and even partially climb trees to get what they want. Though they cannot chase the tree-dwelling bats through the trees. When not hunting, these animals roost in burrows.
The largest species in the family is Titanadocus striaticaudatus. This animal is unusual looking in that the body is all deep reddish-brown with pale ochre undersides, and the tail has bright black and white stripes that extend down the length of the tail. These animals are hunters of the greatest caliber during their time in the Metazoic. Their prey consists of deer, antelope and pentadactyls. These animals hunt by stalking, sometimes for long periods. They sit and wait for just the right moment to pounce on a prey animal, and then they strike. These animals are the size of a very large male lion, and are pack hunters. Males and females both participate in hunting. There is another species of Titanadocus that inhabits Lemuria, and is considerably smaller and a more active hunter.
The smallest species in the family is Microsciuropsis brevicaudatus. It also has the shortest tail in the family in proportion to body size. All species of Microsciuropsis are small, light-bodied animals, with slender legs, short heads and most of the species have long tails. They mostly hunt small game, though sometimes they may even go so far as to bring down prey the size of an antelope fawn. But their primary prey are ground squirrels, and some, like M. felina, will prey on small lemurs. Sometimes these little predators will take on prey twice their size and weight. They are diurnal animals, at night these animals burrow into the ground and curl up.
Predators are few during the early Metazoic. Large predatory bats are known to take the smaller species and young. In Batavia, they become common victims of the carnivorous sinecrus like Agriopepta. Barofelids, Deinognathids, Ailurocyonids and dogs are also major predators of these rodents. Large mongooses will also prey on these animals. Then there is also the fact that the larger species also feed on the smaller species. Titanadocus is the largest species, and sometimes preys on the smaller species, like Chaeturotheria.
Friday, June 25, 2010
So here is the article I found.
Will Humans Be Extinct Within 100 Years?
Analysis by Ian O'Neill Wed Jun 23, 2010 07:59 PM ET
Is the clock of doom ticking for mankind? Yes, says an eminent 95-year-old scientist from Australia. Professor Frank Fenner -- the same scientist who brought the myxomatosis virus to rabbits to control their numbers in the 1950's -- is acutely aware of the impact of overpopulation and shortage of resources.
Widely regarded as the World Health Organization's (WHO) finest hour, in 1980 Fenner announced to the World Health Assembly that smallpox had been eradicated.
In an interview with The Australian, the well-respected microbiologist expressed his pessimism for our future. "We're going to become extinct," he said. "Whatever we do now is too late."
After all the hype surrounding the pseudoscience of 2012, I've become a bit numb to "yet another" warning of doomsday, but when a scientist of Fenner's caliber goes on the record to say mankind will die off, it's hard not to listen.
ANALYSIS: Top 10 Reasons Why the World Won't End in 2012
"Homo sapiens will become extinct, perhaps within 100 years," he said. "A lot of other animals will, too. It's an irreversible situation. I think it's too late. I try not to express that because people are trying to do something, but they keep putting it off."
Although efforts are under way to mitigate the worst effects of overpopulation and climate change, Fenner believes it is futile, that our fate is sealed.
The world's population is forecast to balloon to 7 billion next year, putting a terrible strain on food and water supplies. So much so that Fenner predicts "food wars" in the coming decades as nations fight to secure dwindling supplies. Global droughts continue to ravage farmland, intensifying widespread malnutrition and poverty.
Climate change is a big driving factor behind his warning and, in Fenner's opinion, we've passed the point of no return. Although we have the scientific ability to tackle global problems, it's the lack of political will to do anything before the planet turns into a dust bowl that's the problem.
WIDE ANGLE: Global Warming, On the Brink
Although these warnings aren't without merit, I see Fenner's belief that all of mankind may not exist in a century to be overly pessimistic. It's not that I doubt the world will be a very different place in 100 years, it's just that he hasn't considered the technological factors of what makes humans human.
Granted, we're not very good at looking after our planet, and we are in a dire predicament, but thinking we'll be extinct in less than a century is a little over the top. There being a "collapse of civilization" or "rapid population decline" might be a better forecast.
Extinction occurs when every single member of a species dies, so unless a succession of global catastrophes (pandemics, runaway global warming, nuclear wars, collapse of resources, throw in an asteroid impact) happened at the same time, a small number of our descendants should still be able to eke out an existence in sheltered pockets around the planet.
In a paper published in the journal Futures last year, researchers approached the question: Human Extinction: How Could It Happen?
"The human race is unlikely to become extinct without a combination of difficult, severe and catastrophic events," said Tobin Lopes, of the University of Colorado Denver, in an interview with Discovery News. He added that his team "were very surprised about how difficult it was to come up with plausible scenarios in which the entire human race would become extinct."
Sure, we could be faced with a "perfect storm" of catastrophes leading to a mass extinction, but I think it will be more likely that we'll adapt quickly, using technology not necessarily to reverse the damage we have caused, but to support life in a hostile new world.
But this is as speculative as Fenner's gloomy forecast. I suspect the realities of living on a warming planet with a spiraling population and dwindling resources will remain unknown for some time yet. However, if our continuing abuse of resources continues at this rate unchecked, we can be anything but optimistic about our species' future.
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
The sea bears are a small group of large oceanic mammals around during the early Metazoic, before the evolution of the sea monkeys. They actually evolved off the modern black bears, which during the earliest days of the Metazoic, learned to take on a semi-aquatic lifestyle so they could feed on fish. These animals are built with small heads, realtively long necks, sleek bodies, a short tail, and flippers, of which the foreflippers are larger than the rear flippers. Many species have heads that are adorned with some kind of decorative features, particularly most prominent in the males. Females have smaller crests or none at all. The forelimbs are the only ones that have claws. The fur is very short, but thick. During certain times of the year, the bright colors show through from the skin, giving these animals unusual hues, including blues, lavendars and reds. These are not social animals, except during the breeding season. Most of the time, they hunt alone, and swim alone. Rarely do these animals haul out of the water, unlike modern seals or sea lions. These animals only come out of the water to birth their young, or to die. But they do not haul out in huge rookeries like modern seals do. Most species are quite large. The smallest species is Ocearctos, with a length of about 7 feet long from nose to tail. The largest species is in Pterolophus, with an average length of about 30 feet long.
These animals are very fast swimmers, and capable of capturing fish in flight. They can reach top speeds of about 35 mph. They swim much like sea lions, only on a greater magnitude. The head is usually extended out, and guides the rest of the body along in the water, rather like a giant sea serpent. The foreflippers are used more than the rear flippers. Their diet does not stop at fish. These voracious hunters of the deep will also take cephalopods, crabs, oysters, other marine mammals and even birds plucked right from the sky. These animals are among the deepest divers of the early Metazoic. They may dive as deep as a mile down to find food, relying on echolocation to guide them in the darkest realms of the ocean floor. Closer to the surface, these animals have really good eyesight. But their hearing is their most used feature.
Though these animals are very graceful swimmers, they are absolutely poor walkers. They do most everything in the water, including conception. The formal meeting and conception is quick and usually gets finished in a matter of seconds. Then the male and female parts company. A year later, the female hauls out on the beach to birth her cub. Males almost never see the land. Only the females make this pilgrimage every year.
Predators are quite few for these animals, other than sharks, which are ever-present and the major predators of young and adult sea bears. The tail can offer some defense if properly placed. These animals can actually kill or cripple a shark with their powerful tail by striking them in the gills.
Friday, May 14, 2010
All Modern Life on Earth Derived from Common Ancestor
A single, primordial event likely yielded the array of organisms living today. Fri May 14, 2010 05:15 PM ET
Content provided by Tina Hesman Saey, Science News
One isn't such a lonely number. All life on Earth shares a single common ancestor, a new statistical analysis confirms.
The idea that life-forms share a common ancestor is "a central pillar of evolutionary theory," says Douglas Theobald, a biochemist at Brandeis University in Waltham, Mass. "But recently there has been some mumbling, especially from microbiologists, that it may not be so cut-and-dried."
Because microorganisms of different species often swap genes, some scientists have proposed that multiple primordial life forms could have tossed their genetic material into life's mix, creating a web, rather than a tree of life.
To determine which hypothesis is more likely correct, Theobald put various evolutionary ancestry models through rigorous statistical tests. The results, published in the May 13 Nature, come down overwhelmingly on the side of a single ancestor.
A universal common ancestor is at least 102,860 times more probable than having multiple ancestors, Theobald calculates.
No one has previously put this aspect of evolution through such a stringent test, says David Penny, a theoretical biologist and Allan Wilson Centre researcher at Massey University in Palmerston North, New Zealand. "In one sense, we are not surprised at the answer, but we are very pleased that the unity of life passed a formal test," he says. He and Mike Steel of the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand, wrote a commentary on the study that appears in the same issue of Nature.
For his analysis, Theobald selected 23 proteins that are found across the taxonomic spectrum but have structures that differ from one species to another. He looked at those proteins in 12 species -- four each from the bacterial, archaeal and eukaryotic domains of life.
Then he performed computer simulations to evaluate how likely various evolutionary scenarios were to produce the observed array of proteins.
Theobald found that scenarios featuring a universal common ancestor won hands down against even the best-performing multi-ancestor models. "The universal common ancestor (models) didn't just explain the data better, they were also the simplest, so they won on both counts," Theobald says.
A model that had a single common ancestor and allowed for some gene swapping among species was even better than a simple tree of life. Such a scenario is 103,489 times more probable than the best multi-ancestor model, Theobald found. That's a 1 with 3,489 zeros after it.
Theobald's study does not address how many times life may have arisen on Earth. Life could have originated many times, but the study suggests that only one of those primordial events yielded the array of organisms living today. "It doesn't tell you where the deep ancestor was," Penny says. "But what it does say is that there was one common ancestor among all those little beasties."
Wednesday, May 5, 2010
I don't need that forum, I've been working on Metazoica for a long time by myself. Though don't think that I don't appreciate the help of people who are really scientists (like Dougal Dixon, Metalraptor and Paul Valkov). All of them were the first to make me see my ideas were wrong. I really owe them a lot for that. And it's not just that they did it, but it was the way they did it. There's a right way and a wrong way to speculate and to teach people. And that's why I really like Paul and Metalraptor. They say "this is wrong" and they add real reasons why. They don't just say "They're too specialized to survive" and leave it at that. That's why I prefer to stay here. My friends from the SE forum (If you want specific names, I don't mind listing them) you're always welcome here. Shoot! Even Faa can come in here! I don't like him and I just ignore him, but even he is welcome here. Which brings me to my next subject.
Someone signed my guestbook, and said they were blocked. I just want to say I never blocked anyone, ever! Believe me, if I never blocked JohnFaa, I won't block anyone! If that person tried to post and got a message that they were blocked, let me know! I'll see if I can fix it.
Monday, May 3, 2010
They are carnivorous animals, and feed on what ever source of meat they can find. Mostly fish, birds, bats, eggs, and especially seal pups. Though the Phocids are the last seal species to survive in the Metazoic. It is when they die off, that Chaitharctos dies off. Seal pups and fish make up a major part of their diet. After the last of the true seals die off, another descendant of weasels takes their place, the Paraphocids. But they are of no relation to Chaitharctos. This animal is active year-round. They hunt for seal pups born on the ice, and kill them with a crushing snap of their large, powerful jaws. This animal not only hunts very well, it is also an accomplished scavenger. They will often muscle in on other smaller predators, stealing their kills and chasing the rightful owner off. They battle using both their teeth and claws. The claws are not retractable, but are long, curved, and kept razor sharp.
These animals reproduce only once a year, and that is usually in the summer months. When winter rolls around, the mother often takes the babies out to show them how to hunt for their own food. Then by the following spring, they are usually out on their own. Predators are rather few, mostly the larger Daspletarctos is their worst threat. Though the tough nature of this animal makes them a difficult adversary, even a sprighty adult can be killed by the larger dog. Also among predators are Smilomys, the sabre-toothed predatory rat that inhabits the Arctic at the end of Chaitharctos's reign.
I myself have been a busy girl. I have been talking with my web designer about my animated banner for the new Metazoic site. He showed me some of the animals his animators have worked on and so far, they seem to look pretty good! They need a little more tweaking here and there, and then they will be superb! I almost cannot wait to have the new banner put up! It will be the very first time any Metazoic mammals will be seen in motion. Though it won't be the last if I have anything to say about it. By the time I am finished, the site will be a complete virtual zoo.
Thursday, April 15, 2010
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Some of the smaller species in this family live alone or in couples, while some of the larger species hunt in groups, like wolves. But this is not always the norm. Some large species are very accomplished lone hunters. The feet of most species somewhat resembles both a rat and a dog. They are diurnal animals for the most part, but a few species still haunt the night. They are built for running, chasing their prey down until it is exhausted. The tail is long in most species, usually as long as the body and fully-furred. The claws of most species are not retractable, with the exceptions of Monarchomys and Ailurotheria. Then there is the sub-family Thalassomurinae. Though it is classified as a part of the Caromurids, they have several differences. The legs have been reduced almost to flippers. This is where I changed some of Dixon's ideas about the sea-going predator rats. I decided to make the body form more otter-like than like what he presented in After Man. I thought the idea of Thalassomus's disproportionately long flippers was a little extreme. Scinderidens though, I changed little more than making it more otter-like. Though I kept the walrus-like tusks. But the body of my version is not wrinkly, but rather more like that of a fur seal. All species have rather large, foreward-facing eyes, and small, rounded ears. The eyesight and hearing is how these animals sense the presence of prey.
When it comes to extreme incisors in this family, Scinderidens tops them all. They have evolved much like the incisors of other species in this family, but the points on the edges have grown extremely long, much like that of a walrus. These "tusks" can be as long as 2 feet. The animal uses them to crush the shells of oysters and clams, so they can extract the meat from the shell. They also use them to display and look menacing to rivals during the breeding season. Rarely do they use them, unless a rival attempts to steal a female from a dominant male. Their closest kin, Thalassomus, lacks the long "tusks", but the body form is much the same as seen in Scinderidens.
The most ferocious member of this family is Monarchomys. This animal hunts in small packs. Though it is rather slenderly built, it is by no means a weak hunter. In fact, a single 150-pound Monarchomys can hold down a 400-pound rabbuck easily, just long enough to suffocate it to death. They also tend to want to carry this large prey back to their den to be consumed. The den is usually just a large, shady tree, or sometimes the enlarged burrow of another animal that they use to house their young. Monarchomys are active hunters that only feeds on what they kill themselves. Seldom, if ever, scavenging off of other animals. In this species, the claws are retractable, like a cat's. And they are razor sharp. But mostly used as help in subduing large, struggling prey. The claws do not actually kill the prey themselves.
Another very interesting species in this family is Sarcophagomys. This is the only species to land on the island of Madagascar before it drifts further out into the Indian Ocean. This animal is about the size of a modern cougar. The feet are specialized for grasping branches, much like those of modern primates. This is because most of this animal's hunting is done in the trees. They feed on lemurs. All four feet have grasping ability, so they can easily chase their prey through the trees. Even some of the best leapers among lemurs, the sifakas, cannot escape this predator very easily. This predator has a long tail, like a balancing pole, they use to steady them, and the hind legs are longer than the forelegs, which give them better springing ability. This enables them to persue lemurs wherever they happen to go. And for it's size, Sarcophagomys is incredibly lightweight. Though from nose to tail tip, the animal is about 7 feet long, they weigh less than 80 pounds.
Though the predatory rats are among the top predators of their day, they sometimes face some of their own evil threats. Crocodiles may be able to take them down, as well as the larger and bulkier predatory squirrels. Also dogs may prey on these animals. Though Sarcophagomys is isolated, and lasts longer as a species than most other members of this family, the family dies off completely when they have to compete with such rising families as the Deinognathids.
As for the new site, I completed 2 families so far. Please be patient. Since it is just me working on these, I will have to go at a pace that allows me time to also do other things I need to in the days. The latest family is the Choerocaballidae. Go check it out and have fun!! There will also be some more gradual changes made. I am contemplating a better Metazoica banner than the one I have now. I'm thinking of turning it into a little movie-style banner, with animals from the site racing across the word "Metazoica" in their own way. I've been discussing that with my web-designer. Also, remember to donate! It will be much appreciated. :)
Friday, April 9, 2010
I am still thinking of putting up a "members only" area. But you have to donate to set up an account. That will be the area that has the best features though. Such as short films about some of the animals (I will not be putting these films on YouTube, so don't look for them there), video games, maybe even a rating system where you can rate each of the animals, and comment if you'd like. The donation will be a one-time thing, not a monthly or annual thing. But I will have it fixed so that only people who donate a certain amount can create an account. Perhaps a $10 donation will get you in. But that comes later. I've even been thinking about this video game, been thinking about it since 1998. I thought it could be set up like a safari, and the users ride in a car, which breaks down and they have to get back to the safety hut. Or something to that effect. On the way back, there are a bunch of mammals (Metazoic-style) that tries to destroy the sight-seers, and the user has to try and escape them. I think that's a cute idea. But that comes later.
So far, I've worked on a few anteaters. I will be working on more species as time goes on. I will also put up the new checklist. I just added some more species to the list. You can download it later on in the Meet The Mammals section. I think everyone will like the new features. Meantime, just enjoy!
Monday, April 5, 2010
Though they resemble monkeys, they are actually descendants of the possum, like the brushtail possum. Though Carnophilus is a true predator, Thylopithecus is more of a scavenger. They prefer to have their prey prekilled by some unfortunate force, whether it be by another predator, or a fall out of a tree, or natural disaster. All species have the long, prehensile tail. The face and ears are nude, the palms and soles are nude, as is the end of the tail for grasping. The ears are large and pointed, the fingers are tipped with sharp, powerful claws, as are the toes, the fur is soft and thick, the eyes are rather large, and they can move surprisingly fast through the trees. The jaws are powerful enough to crush bone. They can often take prey as large as themselves. Carnophilus is famous for feeding on the marsupial sloth. They tend to sneak up on the animal as it is clinging, or sleeping on a branch. But they can also feed on other possums, pteropods, small reptiles, lemurs and even prey as large as tree wallabies. When on the hunt for prey, Carnophilus prefers to stalk and pounce, but it can chase some prey through the trees. Though fast, agile and alert lemurs like Leptonosoma, can produce a problem when hunting them. As these lemurs can leap as far as 60 feet in one bound. Carnophilus cannot leap that far! So if the lemurs spot the predator, and they usually can, they can outdistance the Carnophilus quite easily. Smaller lemurs are easier to hunt, as is the marsupial sloth, which cannot leap at all.
These animals are normally solitary, and takes up residence in their own trees. Any other individual animal foolish enough to try and steal their tree is met with great hostility, and is fought and can be killed by the resident animal. They are also nocturnal, though sometimes they can be active during the day. Females can have up to 10 youngsters, which are carried in a pouch that opens at the tail end. After 6 weeks, the young go from the pouch to riding on the back. They breed only once a year.
Though these animals are predators themselves, they can be preyed upon by a wide number of predators. Carnophalanger is among their worst enemies. Monitor lizards, predatory bats, snakes and even small cats can prey on young that have been dropped by the mother, or strayed too far. Sometimes predatory pteropods will even take adults. Even within the family, species feed on each other. Carnophilus typically preys on Thylopithecus, if they cross paths. Some carnivorous lemurs, like Bromista, will also feed on these creatures, and can easily persue them in the trees. Though they typically like to take them while they are asleep on a branch or in a tree hollow.
As for the new Metazoic site, it is still being worked on. There are some technical problems that need to be sorted out. Hopefully they will be resolved by tonight, and the new Meet the Mammals section will be up and running by then. I will be putting up some families that I have not yet worked on, like the abbergants, which I know Metalraptor wanted to see really bad. :)
Sunday, March 28, 2010
Sunday, March 21, 2010
Don't think I have forgotten about the promise I made about putting animated movies about some of the animals on the site. But that comes much later. Believe it or not, I've even found some people who can help me with that! But I am thinking of putting the movies in a members only area. That is, only those who donate to the site can view the movies. I'm not positive, but I think I may even have to go so far as to switch servers. I don't want to though. If I do, that'd be a big bummer!!! I like where the site is parked now. But anyway, keep your eyes open for the new website! I think you're going to like it.