Welcome to my Metazoic site! This site discusses the existence of the creatures to come along after humans will be extinct. I first became interested in a world after man when I acquired my first copy of Dougal Dixon's After Man: A Zoology of the Future in 1992. However, I unwittingly created creatures that did not exist from the time I was about 8 years old. But it was after I obtained a copy of that book (now a collector's item) that I decided to take these same creatures I created as a child and make them more realistic in an evolutionary sense. Though it may be hard for a lot of us to grasp, humans will soon become extinct. One of the biggest factors of how this will happen is the current overpopulation rate. Which is why I don't contribute to the population. I created this world with little more than mammals fulfilling all ecological niches with the help of some friends. I even gave the era of the age after man a name, I called it the Metazoic, derived from the words for "After-era" (Meta, meaning after, and zoic meaning era). We are now in the Cenozoic era. To view all the animals I have created since I began this project, you can go to the "Meet the Mammals" section of this site. To discuss your own ideas about what you think will happen in the future world, and share your ideas with others, please feel free to leave a comment.
One more thing, some of you may find this site quite offensive, and you have a right to your own opinion. But please respect my right to have an opinion too. I'm not saying there is no GOD, I believe it was HIM who got the ball rolling. But I believe after that, evolution took over. There is so much more evidence of evolution than there is of creation. Even that going on right under our noses. Other than that, enjoy yourself and visit our many links.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Family of the Week: The Ruonids

I have no common name for this family. I simply call them the Ruonids. Or the uchlid and allies. It used to go under the family Regniidae. But at one point I had considered separating the subfamily Regniinae from the Ruoninae, which I never really carried out for long. But the name Ruonidae stuck, so now, that is what this family is known as. The two subfamilies differ mostly in that the Regniinae are bipeds, and the Ruoninae are quadrupeds. There are only 2 genera in the Regniinae, they are Regnium, and Stolidus. These are predatory animals descended from weasels. They are for the most part, an old-world family and the basic appearance is like that of a dog. Like dogs, these animals are pack-hunters for the most part. They are also diurnal animals, much like modern dogs. They are big animals. The largest species is actually Regnium, which is an early Metazoic biped. It stands about 6 feet tall. The smallest species is Nanovenator, which is the size of a modern stoat. Some species live in burrows, but there are those who roost out in the open too. Utrarius even builds nests of straw. Only the species in the sub-family Regniinae have retractable claws. The Ruoninae have dog-like paws. Most are terrestrial animals, but Stolidus is mostly a tree-dweller, and there are even some species that love the water. They are strictly carnivorous, though some take in mostly insects, while some mostly feed on carrion. While a few kill their own prey.

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

Family of the Week: The Slashers

I also call these "serpent-slashers" because they feed mostly on large lizards and snakes. This is a very late Metazoic era family, Anguilestidae, that is the last link to the mongoose family. Though they can stand for some period on 2 legs, these are mostly quadrupeds. Their claws are long and sharp, and retractable on the rear feet. The head is elongate and jaws are powerful. The legs are long, the animal it's self is built for speed, but is not wimpy like a cheetah. The tail is long and stiff. The animals themselves when they run and leap appear to be able to defy the laws of gravity! They can leap more than 50 feet in a single bound, and race at speeds topping 70 mph. Most species live in the New World, but some are able to migrate over the new land bridge connecting the New World to Asia. They are solitary hunters, that hunt mostly by night, when most of their prey becomes active. The eyes are large and pupils are a lot like those of a cat. The ears are generally small and round. The feet are padded on the undersides. The fur is thick, and covers the body, being shortest on the face. The nose is naked and usually wet. The genitals of the male are external, but so small and covered with thick fur, they are not easy to see. When hunting, these animals use mostly their sight and hearing, rarely do they use their sense of smell. They range in size from up to 4 feet long in Anguilestes to up to 10 feet long in Cercodius. Not counting the length of the tail, which is about as long as the head and body. Despite their size, these animals can move amazingly silent, causing very little ground vibrations so not to alert the snakes and lizards in their way.

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

Family of the Week: The Zofons

The zofons (pronounced like "zuh-fones") are a group of carnivorous mammals that descended from modern day weasels. Most of them are scavengers. The face is much like a modern dog's the tail is relatively short in most species, about half the length of the legs. The ears are small and round. The eyes are rather large and round. Though they are scavengers, their heads are not nude, as in the metazoic hyenas. In some genera, like Zoodes, Truculentus and Dirogale, a horse-like mane is also present. The claws are bearlike, and sharp. The fur is thick, and in Uvidictis is also waterproof. Most species are either solitary, or travels in couples. The smallest species are in the genus Ischuos, the largest species are in Truculentus. Most species inhabit the new world, though some of the larger species are migratory, and occasionally make their way across the land bridge connecting North America to Asia. The sense of smell is better than most other mammals. Almost all species are diurnal animals.

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

Family of the Week: The Ocean Sinecrus

The Paracetaceans are actually a group of mammals that are not related to modern cetaceans, but actually evolved from elephant shrews, much like the therapeds and Deinognathids. However, this branch went a totally different way. These animals developed flippers from what was left of their limbs and took to the water. They have long, flat tails and swim by moving the tail from side-to-side, much like fish do, rather than up and down like modern cetaceans. The family Pelagiidae are entirely aquatic, never retreating to land. The flippers are pleated in most species, instead of diamond-shaped like in most modern dolphins. Pelagius even still has claws on it's flippers. The basic body form is much like that of modern dolphins, the body is long and torpedo-shaped, they have flippers in front that are used for steering, and a flat, rudder-like tail. In some species, the tail is longer than in others. But unlike modern dolphins, these animals have fur that covers the body, more like seals or sea lions, instead of being naked like dolphins. They are also equipped with tiny flippers on the backside, just below the tail area. They have no external ears, and they usually have a long, slender beak. The nostrils are at the end of the beak, instead of on the head. The eyes are relatively larger than those of dolphins. They are very fast swimmers, and usually travel in groups, numbering as many as 500 individuals in some species.

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.

I'll Do The Family Of The Week Tonight!!!

I promise! I've been sooooooooooooo busy lately, it's been unbearable! But I will get back on track soon.