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, August 2, 2010

Family of the Week: The Metazoic Weasels

The modern weasel family is kind of the Pate Choux of the Metazoic carnivore groups. Many get their genes from this base family, including the Ruonidae, the Zouphionidae and the Cloacariidae, just to name a few. The Vulpemustelidae is a group of weasel-like mammals, more weasel-like than other groups that appears later in the Metazoic. They have the typical weasel-like posture, with legs that are short and a body much longer in proportion to it's leg length. They have long tails, and small, wedge-shaped ears. The eyes are large and almond-shaped, giving these animals a somewhat "cunning" appearance. The feet have curved claws, though they are not retractable in most species. The tallest species is Oreomustela, which somewhat resembles a slender snow leopard. However, the heaviest species is Phobogula. The smallest species is Nanomustela. Unlike modern mustelids, these animals for the most part do not have any scent glands. So there is very little, if any, odor. All are carnivorous, though a few species will also feed on berries when meat is not readily available. Most are solitary animals, and usually do not appreciate the company of others of their own kind, much less from any other species. Much like modern weasels, Metazoic weasels are tough and aggressive fighters that pretty much carry on a battle until they get their way.

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.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

If you've done the Snowstalker, what about TFIW's other mustelid, the Gryken?

TimGal said...

I haven't seen that one. So I don't know.