Welcome to my Metazoic site! This site discusses the existence of the creatures to come along after humans will be extinct. I first became interested in a world after man when I acquired my first copy of Dougal Dixon's After Man: A Zoology of the Future in 1992. However, I unwittingly created creatures that did not exist from the time I was about 8 years old. But it was after I obtained a copy of that book (now a collector's item) that I decided to take these same creatures I created as a child and make them more realistic in an evolutionary sense. Though it may be hard for a lot of us to grasp, humans will soon become extinct. One of the biggest factors of how this will happen is the current overpopulation rate. Which is why I don't contribute to the population. I created this world with little more than mammals fulfilling all ecological niches with the help of some friends. I even gave the era of the age after man a name, I called it the Metazoic, derived from the words for "After-era" (Meta, meaning after, and zoic meaning era). We are now in the Cenozoic era. To view all the animals I have created since I began this project, you can go to the "Meet the Mammals" section of this site. To discuss your own ideas about what you think will happen in the future world, and share your ideas with others, please feel free to leave a comment.
One more thing, some of you may find this site quite offensive, and you have a right to your own opinion. But please respect my right to have an opinion too. I'm not saying there is no GOD, I believe it was HIM who got the ball rolling. But I believe after that, evolution took over. There is so much more evidence of evolution than there is of creation. Even that going on right under our noses. Other than that, enjoy yourself and visit our many links.
Sunday, March 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.
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
These animals take the place of the cheetahs in the early Metazoic. They are quite capable of fast sprints, and capture prey like therapeds, deer, antelope and coursing rats easily. They cannot run as fast as cheetahs though. The fastest any of these animals can run is about 50 mph. But they can keep up the pace far longer than a regular cheetah. These animals hunt more like dogs than like cats. They simply run after their prey in a lengthy sprint. Unlike the felids and barofelids, these animals can be active during the day as well as at night. Different individuals seem to have their own preference of hours of activity. They are still solitary hunters, which is why being built for speed is most important in this advancing age of mammals. But it has a handicap too. They are not as tough and powerful as the Barofelids. But they can easily capture prey that would normally be out of reach of the Barofelids.
The largest species in this family belong in the genus Parafelis. Particularly P. fulgur. The largest is the size of a male lion, and just as tough. Though unlike lions, these animals do not waste energy on animals they have no intention of eating. Their main prey consists of deer and therapeds, most especially the larger, plains-dwelling species like Chontronurus. Though some species, like Dolichotragus, are harder to capture, as they can hide out in trees. Most species of Ailurocyonids cannot climb trees very well. While the forepaws have very sharp claws, the hind feet have very poor claws and almost no grasping ability. The strange thing is the same genus that has the largest species in this family also has the smallest. The bush-cat, or Parafelis rhops, is about the size of a large house cat, and houses it's self in low-lying bushes. This animal feeds mostly on smaller mammals, birds and other small vertebrates. Because they are small, they are only active at night. These animals as well hunt by chasing after their prey, and killing with a quick bite on the throat. All species, large and small, must have water. Sometimes, those in drier regions, can extract some water from their prey.
The Ailurocyonids are the last step the felines take in the Metazoic before they finally die off from competition from larger and more powerful predators. In 30 million years AM, the Barofelids are long gone, and the Ailurocyonids are the very last felines on the scene. They are not the last predators however and about this time is when the World glances down the jaws of another group of large predators, the deinognathids. I have a scenario imprinted in my mind. Imagine a sunny, hot, summer day in southern South America, where a group of Tachypus racers are grazing on whatever plant and small animal life they can find. All of a sudden, the herd's lookout sounds an alarm. A large Parafelis is racing toward them. The Tachypus scatter quickly, trying to outrun the predator. But one is a little late in responding, and goes down in the Parafelis's jaws. The Parafelis eats and believes it is OK. About halfway into it's feeding, it feels some vibrations in the ground, and realizes it is not alone in this area. A huge Deinognathus has heard the ruckus and is approaching the Parafelis, hoping to do a little scavenging. The Parafelis rises to defend it's kill. It rolls out at the Deinognathus, growling and roaring in defiance, with it's teeth fully showing and claws slashing. The Deinognathus is more confused than angry or intimidated and backs away slowly. The Parafelis continues to come at the Deinognathus, slashing it's claws and roaring loudly. The Deinognathus roars back. In an attempt to further intimidate the larger predator, the Parafelis leaps up with it's claws out and slashing. The Deinognathus dodges the claws, opens it's jaws, and clamps down on the Parafelis. It then shakes the struggling cat violently until it is dead. The once great felines have finally met their match, and start to become out-competed for food and space. Eventually being taken over.
Monday, March 15, 2010
Anyway, here is the article, be sure to check out the accompanying video:
An interesting "rock" initially tossed aside at a FedEx site near Pittsburgh International Airport turns out to be the skull of a meat-eating, early terrestrial amphibian that lived 70 million years before the first dinosaurs emerged, according to a paper released today in Annals of Carnegie Museum.
The approximately 300-million-year-old carnivorous amphibian has been named Fedexia striegeli, after the well-known shipping service and Adam Striegel, who spotted the animal's well-preserved, five-inch-long fossil skull while he was a University of Pittsburgh student on a field trip.
Striegel originally threw it aside, thinking it wasn't important, but then he and class lecturer Charles Jones noticed pointy teeth and tusks, so the skull was brought to experts at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History.
"Fedexia might have resembled, using modern analogies, an overgrown or giant newt salamander about 2 feet long, including the tail, with a coarse, granular skin texture," co-author David Berman, curator of vertebrate paleontology at the museum, told Discovery News.
The graininess probably resulted from rice-sized bony elements, which were found on a close relative of this species from New Mexico, Anconastes vesperus, which Berman and other colleagues discovered. He said the protrusions "undoubtedly protected it from physical injuries from either predators or inanimate obstacles in the environment, and loss of body moisture through the skin, which modern amphibians are susceptible to."
He added that the carnivore's "large palatal tusks were undoubtedly formidable weapons for holding onto, crushing and dismembering prey" that likely included everything from smaller amphibians to large insects.
Analysis of the skull determined that Fedexia belongs to an extinct group of amphibians called Trematopidae. The trematopids provide the first evidence for North American vertebrate life that was adapted to a mostly terrestrial existence.
Co-author David Brezinski, an associate curator in the Section of Invertebrate Paleontology at the museum, explained to Discovery News that the toothy land-dweller lived when Earth's climate was in a period of radical transition.
Pennsylvania then was in the tropics and experienced a lot of rain during the Late Paleozoic Ice Age starting at around 320 million years ago. This helped to fuel plant growth.
"The increased rainfall, and attendant wet conditions were perfect for amphibians," Brezinski said. "That is, until things temporarily began drying out at about 304 million years ago."
The preceding period when moist conditions flourished led to what is now called the "Age of Amphibians," when the ancestors of Fedexia and other amphibians were a dominant group in Western Pennsylvania and other regions.
The loss of water during the dry out, however, forced many of these animals, like Fedexia, to shift from a mainly aquatic to a mostly terrestrial existence.
"Amphibians that could exist for protracted times out of water should have been selected for," Brezinski said.
Relatives of Fedexia dating to 20 million years after its lifetime have been found at other sites, suggesting that this group successfully expanded and diversified even as the tropics became drier.
He and his colleagues believe that these very early land-adapted amphibians only returned to the water perhaps to mate or lay eggs.
Although the Trematopidae eventually died out, they were part of a superfamily called Dissorphoidea that, Berman said, "are often hypothesized as possible ancestors of modern amphibians."
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
In today's world, though I don't whole-heartedly agree with it, all cat-like animals have been placed in a single family. In the Metazoic, they've been separated, though still closely related. Small cats are placed in the family Felidae; running cats (the Metazoic equivolent to today's cheetahs) are placed in the Ailurocyonidae; and the so-called "big cats" are placed in the family Barofelidae. Most of these species inhabit the New World. They consist of big, bulky animals. During the early part of the Metazoic, small felines dominated the predatory world of the underbrush. Felis brevicaudatus was the largest and most fearsome of the cats then. During the early part of the Metazoic, these animals extended their range, finding the land bridge connecting the Old World with the New World. This land was basically lacking at this time of large, mammalian predators. Thus the evolution of the Barofelids was born. They started off small, like the felines, and eventually grew bigger as time went on. They kept the fierce behavior of their tiny predecessors. Some species have canine teeth that are so long, they protrude out the mouth. The ears are tiny and rounded for the most part. The eyes are somewhat large and glaring. Most species have a mane on the neck. The claws are still retractable. The tail is short and usually is carried curled up over the back. The muzzle is short, but the mouth opens very wide, wider in proportion to it's size than any other carnivore in the Metazoic. The head is wide and broad. They are lone hunters, and are active mostly at dusk, or at night.
They still hunt in the traditional feline way. They get as close to the ground as they can and slink through the grass. They lie in wait for their prey to approach them. Prey is killed mostly by the predator cutting off the wind pipe and suffocating the prey to death. They feed on anything they can capture, mostly therapeds, deer, large rodents, other small mammals, and some of the flightless birds. Sometimes they may take bats that have landed on the ground, but it is rare. Sometimes, fish are taken, but this too is a rare act. The largest species in this family is Barofelis ursinus. Their typical prey is mountain-dwelling therapeds like Oreogale. They cannot chase these animals through the hills, they often wait and pounce on them when they venture too close. Or they may sneak up on them as they are resting in their caverns at night. Unlike modern felines, Barofelids are so big, they cannot really climb trees. Their razor-sharp claws are strong, but not strong enough to support their bulk in trees. So they are not very adept climbers. This particular species weighs about 1000 pounds. The smallest of the Barofelids weighs about 800 pounds. This species would be Barofelis leo. It is often hunted by the larger B. ursinus. Even though it is the smallest in the family, it can still hunt rather large prey. Like all Barofelids, it too is nocturnal and solitary.
The most interesting species in the family is B. megalodonta, which is sort of a sabre-toothed variety. Though their canine teeth are not as large as those of the ancient Smilodon, they still protrude from the mouth. They are kept sharp by specialized grooves built in on each side of the lower jaw. I've been considering placing this particular species in at least a separate sub-genus: Coelofelis, simply because of this structural difference. This particular species rips out the jugular of it's prey in a very sloppy, vicious way. They too feed mostly on deer and therapeds, though any smaller animal may become prey for this cat. Because this cat weighs about 850-900 pounds, they rely on an abundance of large prey in their range. Particularly deer of the genus Jubacervix, which is one of the largest and bulkiest deer around in the early Metazoic, and Oreogale, which is a small, but very abundant theraped in the Metazoic.
Barofelids as adults, have no real natural enemies in the early Metazoic. The cubs may be taken by some predators like foxes, predatory bats, snakes, and even other Barofelids. Often the larger preys on the smaller among species. This is not unusual. Sometimes even adult Barofelids can be taken by things like crocodiles, but this act is rare, as these animals rarely go to such watery areas except to drink, which they need to do quite often. Though some of the moisture they receive can be from their prey, particularly the water stored in animal fat.
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
Though these animals have shrunk for the most part in the Metazoic, they remain hunters. They can overpower animals as big as themselves. They often hunt small mice, shrews, birds and eggs, small lizards, but the majority of the diet of Metazoic felines is insects. Particularly beetles, which they have mastered ripping into. Even the 2-inch rhinoceros beetle is not safe from these animals. Rarely, if ever, do these animals eat bats, but it can happen if they can catch them. Most of the time, these animals are ground-hunters. But sometimes they will climb trees. Most of the birds these animals hunt consist of ground-nesters. One species, Hydrulus, also eats fish. They have actually become skilled divers and swimmers, and easily chase after fish and aquatic insects. This particular cat evolved along the same lines as the jaguarundi. Hydrulus captures fish after a quick chase, and grasps it in their forepaws. These animals have given up their retractable claws to enable them to swim at relatively high speeds. They do have fleshy balls of fat and tough, leathery flesh on the tips of their fingers to enable them to grasp their slippery prey.
As it does today, the genus Felis dominates this family. But unlike the 32 species around today in this one genus, the Metazoic only has 6. All of which are smaller than they are today. The largest in fact is F. brevicaudatus, which is about as big as a 4-week old kitten. It also has the shortest tail, in proportion to it's body size, than any other true feline in the Metazoic. It also has the widest range in the family, inhabiting most of the Old World. This animal not only feeds on small rodents and birds, it'll also feed on smaller felines. This is the only species that can become active while there is still daylight out, usually in the mid-to-late evening. This is when this animal sneaks into a burrow inhabited by a smaller Felis species, and kills and eats them. If they are a nursing mother, the kittens will also be eaten. These animals have to eat at least about 3 times a night, and they do, whatever they can find.
Though these animals are still true predators even in the Metazoic, they can also be hunted by other larger predators. Besides the larger feeding on the smaller, they may also be hunted by night-dwelling, hunting pteropods, viverrids, snakes, birds of prey, weasels, foxes, and even carnivorous rodents. These animals can sometimes defend themselves by slashing with their claws, and hissing and appearing bigger than they are. But this technique doesn't always work with every predator or every situation. Primarily, they stay alive by remaining underground until nightfall, when most Metazoic predators are asleep.