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.

Friday, February 19, 2010

The End of the Metazoic

I have been asked about this, since this is my project, I think it'd be important to come up with a sort of ending to the Metazoic era. Some imaginary scenario if you will. It's a sad subject to think about. We all know by now what killed off the dinosaurs. Well, we seem to have some pretty accurate speculations. So what happens at the end of the Metazoic? Well, we need a beginning. Imagine a world in which we are missing. Humans have killed themselves off by cutting down forests, overpopulation, overuse of natural resources. Face it, our extinction is pretty much inevitable! Humans don't know it. Unfortunately nowadays, people are getting paid good money to overpopulate. People on welfare have more and more kids because it means getting more money from the government. People like the Duggars (19 kids and counting) get paid a lot of money because they keep on having kids and TV stations like TLC will always pay them well to bring cameras into their home and film these big families. People like that. And they are not the only ones. Look at John and Kate Plus 8, they got paid $10,000 a week to be filmed. People are interested in those kind of shows. It encourages more and more people to have large amounts of kids because shows like this appeal to them. But what people like this don't realize is that these kids soon grow and need space of their own. Thus cutting into forests and not only pushing other animals out of their homes, but also every tree that is cut down takes away the chance of developing new oxygen for the atmosphere. Trees clear the air, the less trees and the more people, the less our chances of survival. But enough about that! That's a different blog!

Anyway, in this world humans have become extinct completely. It takes several million years to clear the air. Thus the Metazoic begins. It begins modestly, because smaller animals need less oxygen to survive. I figure a good 14-20 million years for the air to clear. Small deer, antelope, rabbits, rats, mice, foxes, and even cats are running around along the ground. Cats hunt the rats and mice, foxes learn to hunt prey like the small deer. On the other side of the world, small antelope like the klipspringer and dik-dik are getting along without competition from larger species. The panthers have all died off. Elephant shrews have emerged, and they don't compete much with the small antelope because they have a wider range of food they will consume, like insects as well as vegetation. They have not completely become extinct because humans died off before that could happen. They learn to walk on their hind legs, giving them another great advantage that most antelope do not have. Now, they can feed off bushes and shrubs, and later on, trees. From here, the animal has 2 options: either they develop a long, thick tail to support their upright posture, or lose the tail altogether and develop humanoid-like buns. Keeping the tail is a greater advantage so that's what happens. Thus, the therapeds, or thicktails, are born. They develop a whole new group endemic to the Metazoic: the Trelatebrates.

Mammals in this age are different than they are in the Cenozoic. In fact, they probably deserve to have a totally different class of their own. Like modern mammals, they do produce milk for their young, and secrete it out of specialized glands, or mammae. But unlike modern mammals, the males all have no external scrotum. Either the testes have moved up into the pelvic cavity, or they simply cling closer to the body. There is also no external penis. Most Metazoic mammals have only 2 vents in the males, and 3 in the females, but in the case of the Trelatebrates, there are 3 in both sexes. Therefore externally it'd be very hard for us to tell the two sexes apart. When Africa collides with Europe, the descendants of antelope, elephant shrews and bushbabies all push thier way out of Africa, to land that they have never set foot before. They learn to deal with the cooler weather of Europe and the USSR, and migrate to other continents like Asia, India and ultimately Australia. Some species go further. The predecessors of the therapeds, the "pig-horses", have become highly adaptable, and even head north and cross the now connecting land bridge from Mongolia, to Japan (now a part of the Asian continent) and into Alaska. Thus heading down to North America where they settle and become the therapeds. Sometimes, while the land bridge from Alaska and Asia is still there, some species migrate back to the Old World. By the time the therapeds have become the Deinognathids, the land bridge connecting Alaska to Mongolia has corroded away. Some Deinognathids made it before that happens, and take over the Old World as top predators. They followed the migrating herds of therapeds, deer and antelope to get there. All this is within a space of 35 million years after man. The Old World in fact was good for the Deinognathids. They had little to no competition from large mongooses or Ailurocyonids. Those that were there got pushed out by the Deinognathids that invaded the Old World. They already fed on the deer and antelope that led them to this section of the world, and they found other varieties of food as well. Even a small deinognathid like Paricteria, was capable of bringing down and killing an animal like a deer or antelope.

Deinognathids did good in both sides of the world. They have a high reproductive rate, they are intelligent, and pick up on things very quickly, and most species are bipeds. The bipedal posture gives mammals a much greater advantage over quadrupeds. So the bipeds took over quickly. This is the reason deinognathids will win over barofelids and ailurocyonids as top predators. Descendants of felines never learn to walk in a bipedal posture for longer than a few inches. So the felines and their descendants eventually die out. But for their time on Earth, felines did evolve to hunt rodents, which also later became bigger, as did the felines, which led to the evolution of the Barofelids and Ailurocyonids, which are the Metazoic's "big cats".

In the Metazoic, some continents got larger and some more islands form. What I always call San Diego Is. is made up of the US states of Washington, Oregon and California, all the way to Baja California. Volcanic activity caused it to separate from the rest of the North American continent. Thus making it an island. Many animals were in that portion of the continent when it split apart. Some were gentle plant-eaters or omnivores, and others were meat eaters. Even some cats were present. Before the end of the Metazoic, San Diego Island actually dissipates and sinks back into the sea. So do the Batavian Islands. Thus their unique cargo of animals either migrates back to the mainland USA, or finds a distant land elsewhere, or dies off with the islands. Some peaks of tall mountains remain for several more million years, but are gone before the end of the Metazoic.

I figure the Metazoic era to last as much as 100 million years after man. At that time, I am figuring perhaps a surge in volcanic activity will cause the extinction of the mammals of the Metazoic. Perhaps Yellowstone will erupt. This would cause local and global catastrophe. Imagine if for a thousand years, Old Faithful failed to erupt. All that pressure builds up underneath. A thousand years worth of pressure in the ground is a lot of pressure! Earthquakes soon pile up and warn the animals of an impending disaster. Animals can take the warning, and migrate to safer places, but with this being a major eruption, where could they all go? Earthquakes continue to mount up, all leading to the final event. Finally, after many years of inactivity, the volcano awakens and explodes. Billions and billions and billions of tons of ash, rock and poisonous gases leak into the atmosphere. It is obvious the animals nearby were taken in the blast, but what about animals from other continents and the oceans? Well, with a thousand years of pressure built up underneath Yellowstone, it build up enough power to blacken the skies all over the world for as long as 10 years. In this time, plants die off, then the animals that feed on the plants starve to death. While predators last a little bit longer, feeding on the abundance of dead plant-eating animals, eventually their food supply will run thin. This will then cause the extinction of the predatory animals, which will be the last to die off.

The main animals that will make it past this event are the smaller animals, the ones who need less food, and go underground and hibernate when times get tough. But few mammals can hibernate as long as 10 years! So most mammals die off. Some, such as mice, may make it through. They are small, and need only tiny amounts of water, and they can feed on anything! So mice are likely to make it through even without hibernating. And smaller animals that feed on them, such as small predators, will also make it through. When the skies clear, we would see less in the way of mammals, and more in the way of open ecological spaces, waiting for something to fill in those spaces. What will be next? Perhaps the archosaurs? Maybe an age of birds? Or maybe some other little creature, maybe completely unknown to us, will evolve in the Metazoic to run through the grass, and wait their turn to take over the world. Perhaps? We won't really know until that time comes.


Anonymous said...

Maybe you can post a small page of "after the Metazoic" creatures on your site. I like the idea of an age of birds, since birds seem to have won out in the visitor poll. Maybe you could finally get some flying birds on your site! Also, what are the ailurocyonids like and how long from now do they live?

Timgal said...

I'll think about a small page. I might just make an "after-life" scenario on this blog.

The ailurocyonids are actually dog-like cats, and they evolve after the Barofelids. They come along 15 million years after man.

Anonymous said...

Why would nearly twenty groups of mammals independantly develop internal genitalia? I could see trelebrates developing them, but twenty different groups of mammals seems to be stretching it a bit. In fact it has been argued that male mammals developed external genitalia to keep their sperm from being cooked by their internal body heat. Of course birds are warm-blooded and have internal genitalia. I don't know how they get around that.

There are some modern species of elephant shrews which are not-endangered or too little is known about their populations to tell.

Timgal said...

And birds have a higher temperature average and higher metabolism than most mammals. So if they can do it, so can mammals. Again, it's about streamlining. Not all mammals develop them internally though, as I said, in some the external genitals simply lie close to the body. They greatly reduce in size first. Like, in the Metazoic, you're not going to find an animal with big testes hanging down to it's feet like today. Or it's penis on it's belly. I would think that would be an obstacle in running.

Canis said...

Okay. Well done, but some inaccuracies I have noticed:

1. Yellowstone causing a mass extinction? Seriously? I'll admit it is a deadly supervolcano, but it is not THAT deadly. Mount Pinatubo, a similar supervolcano, did not cause such a large extinction. Rather, it just left only one species of human. Besides, in 100 million years, plate tectonics will move Yellowstone off the volcanic hotspot it is on, preventing it from being a danger. I think a more likely scenario is to do something like the Deccan Traps of the Cretaceous. The Deccan Traps were formed when India collided with Asia, creating vast volcanism that choked the atmosphere. Granted, this is not what killed the dinosaurs (nor did the asteroid kill the dinos (it was most likely a combination of asteroid and volcanism)), but it limited their numbers by the time the asteroid came around. Perhaps something similar could happen in the Metazoic when Australia collides with the Asia-North America land bridge (which, within 20 million years time, will be a permanent fixture just like the Panaman land bridge).

2. Yeah, it doesn't seem very likely for about twenty mammalian orders to all evolve an internal scrotum or an internal penis independently. The reason birds have this is because the theropod dinosaurs (their ancestor) possessed this trait. Now, I can understand all the therapeds and their offshoots having this internal reproductive system. But ALL mammals evolving it independently? Personally, that is even more unlikely than terrasquids.

To be continued this post a comment thing won't allow me to post over 4096 characters at a time.

Canis said...

3. Just because a creature is a theropod does not mean it will instantly take over the world. Look at the Cenozoic. Birds possess a theropodal gait, yet look at the quadropedal mammals who are ruling right now. Granted, birds only use their beak and feet to manipulate objects. But still, birds are theropodal in structure, yet they are not ruling the world.

4. While I do like your healthy imagination, I must say something about the theropod mammals. Firstly, mammalian hip structure as I'm sure you have been told countless times is not conducive to a theropod lifestyle. Ornithiscian dinosaurs were only able to accomplish this difficult balancing act because they had relatively few hip bones. Mammals, however, have quite a few more and our legs are situated in such a way that the closest mammals can get to being theropodal is by leaning over. Secondly, I honestly doubt that elephant shrews will produce the first theropod mammals. They are actually evolving more into quadropeds, and even then I doubt they'll take over the world. My suggestion for an ancestor for your theropod mammals is something that, while it may not produce the wide variety you are after, would be many times more plausible. Ever hear of the pangolin? Nature footage has shown that pangolins are capable of running in a primitive theropodal gait when frightened. With a few million years of fine tuning and with the evolution of faster predators, a theropod-like gait may arise. This gait would, at first, look like the old reconstructions of dinosaurs. Not the ones at the Crystal Palace in London (for those who don't know, at that place, they reconstructed all dinosaurs known at that time (nineteenth century) as slow, sluggish quadropeds that dragged their tail), but the theropod ones that were thought to drag their tail along the ground. Back to the thero-pangolins. Over another million years as predators become even deadlier during the Great Recovery (the period after the Holocene extinction), the thero-pangolins could evolve an erect tail that sticks straight out. I still doubt mammals will ever evolve a theropodal gait, but if they did, I'd expect them to come from the pangolins. However, theropod mammals are interesting to think about.

5. Just a time scale issue I have. You say that it will take millions of years for the atmosphere to be cleaned of pollution and the excess CO2. Well, when humans do become extinct, nature will bounce back quickly. In areas where humans have abandoned, forests have recovered the area in as little as 50 years. So if that is the norm rather than the exception when it comes to nature reclamation, nature may reclaim its former spots in just 2,000 years. And from there, it may only take 1,000 more to fully clean out the atmosphere.

Now, before I end my post, I still must say that this is a great project. Again, some creations are implausible, but in every speculative biology project there will be inaccuracies. In fact, I'm sure that if 100 million years ago we were speculating on life 100 million years in the future (present day) and you came up with a world that is an exact copy of our world, I would deem some concepts inaccurate. Such as "Why would dinosaurs go extinct?" or "Why would birds not take over the world in the dino's demise?"

Timgal said...

Another regular viewer suggested pangolins as therapod-like predators for the Metazoic, but they have no teeth, don't they? And then there's the scales. Then the fact that they have no fur. Elephant shrews really seem to fit the bill better because they have much shorter front legs than back legs (in most species) and can from there adopt the therapod-like gait.

I wasn't aware of a character limit on this blog for comments! But then maybe it's because I'm the owner and moderator. Maybe there's a way I can extend that. Sorry Canis.

Canis said...

Ah, it's perfectly alright. That is actually kind of abnormal of me to make a post THAT long. And if it is over the character limit, well, I'll just break up the post like last time.

Yeah, they have no teeth. But they still possess the genes that code for teeth. In certain evolutionary pressures, the teeth could be coded for again, just like bird claws.

Well, technically, pangolins do have fur. Their plates are made out of keratin, which is just hair that has been tightly woven together. When young, the pangolin plates are quite soft. If they remained that way, perhaps the softened plates could become like fur again. Though of course, they don't really need fur. They just need to be streamlined, which the plates could become.

Interestingly, some scientists suggest that the closest living relatives of pangolins are the carnivorans (cats, dogs, bears, seals, and weasels).

Yes, the elephant shrews do seem be better able to adapt to a theropodal gait, but they generally run on all fours rather than on two legs like pangolins.

forbiddenparadise64 said...

Hey, how are you. I am animaloverlord42's new account, as I can't sign in too my old one due to someone hacking. I am also a member of the SE forum, and a few of you may know me. I am influenced by Metazoica, especially in my project walking with the future, as you already know and am glad to be in contact with you again.

Canis has some good points on the extinctions and the theropod mammals. But This is your project and your rules comply :D. Of course, there are much more bizzare topics on SE that I have seen, such as alien earth, and the bizzare, but still plausible grameozoic. Of course, since you've left, you won't be bothered about the forum, although some of your followers are. And I do look forward to an age of birds in a post-metazoica blog, too. Like you, I've sparked a debate with johnfaa on the forum. This debate was over religon, with him being athiest and me being christian, on a religous discussion on creationist fundamentalists in Australia. Fortunately, coadmins pandorasaurus has now banned religous discussion to prevent a verbal war. But I am staying on the forum anyway, as i enjoy it there. I will check the metazoic from time to time, and see how its going. Nice to see you. :D

TimGal said...

I like Canis, even though I haven't seen him for a while. But I just cannot picture armadillos or pangolins turning into therapeds. Those animals are slow-movers with no fur and no teeth. Or weak teeth.

I just basically ignore JohnFaa. I've had my say, there is nothing more to tell about him as far as I'm concerned.

forbiddenparadise64 said...

Canis' had computer problems. but hes back now. Johnfaa isn't really an athiest, but some kind of paganic person (which I think links to satanism, which I am very opposed to) as well as teh fact his arguments are extremely basic and lacking.

I have some theropod mammals in my walking with the future project actually, they are very distant descendants of shrews living 250 million years from now in a world dominated by archosaurs and a new class of vertabrates descended from amphibians. I also have a project I adopted from canis with another guy, who has created some theropod mammals from jerboas, and he says that in teh second time period, they will be the biggest carnivores ever. I wonder what ideas he will have. Yes, and I do look forward to post metazoica.