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, April 12, 2011

Family of the Week: The Armored Shrews

OK, so these are not really shrews, but they do derive from them. The family Armigeridae consists of medium to large omnivorous mammals that have developed armor of one kind or another as protection from predators. Some species have armadillo-like armor, while others are covered in spines or spikes, and one species has flexible plates that creates a sort of alarm call to alert others in their pack of impending danger. Most species are covered with fine hair on the head and undersides, while the upperparts and neck is covered with hard, nearly impenetrable armor. The eyes and ears are small, and almost absent in some species. But the hearing and eyesight are superb. They create large burrows for themselves underground, and are equipped with long, sharp claws to handle the job of excavating their dens. Often the abandoned dens are used by other animals as well. The tail is as long as the head and body in these animals and is sometimes used for defense in some species. The nose is flat, much like a pig's snout. The body is stocky and legs are short, these are not fast runners at all.

The species with the largest ears is Cuniculatus, which is about 5 feet long, from nose to tail tip. They inhabit rather dry areas and the ears act as a sort of cooling agent. Like elephants, the ears flap back and forth constantly to fan the head and circulate air around the body. The armor of this species is restricted to the back side and between the ears. This prevents attack from predators grabbing them from the rear. The tail of this species is not exactly designed for defense. It is rather small, and well-haired. Usually it is tucked under the body when in defensive posture. This animal does have large claws, which as well as being great for digging it's burrow, can be used as defensive weapons against predators. The large ears also help make this animal appear bigger than they are, which can scare off most predators. These animals feed on a variety of small animals and grass.

The largest species belongs to Testudostrigla. This animal is 11 feet long from nose to tail tip. The ears are so small, they are almost invisible underneath the head armor. The armor completely covers the upperparts of this animal. The claws are huge, and sharp, very efficient defensive weapons, as well as useful for burrying themselves in the sand to keep cool. These animals rarely drink water, but when some water is available, they do not hesitate to grab a sip or two. The fur on the body is short and lies smooth. It covers all the underparts of the animal, and the face. The crown that towers over the eyes and ears also has small, sharp, hornlike projectiles that act as sparring devices during the mating season. These animals feed on a wide variety of small vertebrates, insects, as well as tubers, grasses, and what ever they can find. They are one of few mammals in the Metazoic that is more active at night than during the day. But even so, the eyes are still rather small, even though their eyesight is as good as our own.

The most interesting species belong to Crotalonotus. These are large mammals, about 6-8 feet long, with small ears, large eyes, and unusual armor on the back. The armor is almost useless for protection, as it is made up of loose plates. Instead, this armor offers the animal the ability to warn all others of their kind with a makeshift alarm. This alarm can sound relative to that of a rattlesnake. It is made using special muscles in the back that moves each plate individually, at high speeds. This causes the plates to rub against each other to make this sound. The more terrified the animal is, the faster the plates rattle. These are also the fastest runners in this family. They rely on speed and their burrows to keep them safe from predators. But if one is cornered, it can use it's sharp tusks and claws to deter a predator, and these can be savage weaponary attacks!

Though these species are omnivores, they are not without predators. Deinognathids are among their worst threats, as are mongooses and predatory bats. A large Deinognathid can easily crush the armor of these animals. Smaller deinognathids and mongooses have to flip the victims over and tear into the soft underbelly. But these large shrews are also quite quick to roll into a hard ball, or lie flat on the ground, acting as their own impermeable fortress.


El Squibbonator said...

Inspired by TFIW's Rattleback, per chance?

TimGal said...

Only Crotalonotus. This family it's self was thought up in 1995.