This is a list of possible species
postulated in the 2003 Animal Planet
/ORF and ZDF series The Future Is Wild
. The series examined twelve ecosystems
at three distant future times.
Five million years
After the warm time period of humanity's reign a new ice age has dawned. In the northern areas most of the land is covered in deep kilometer Glaciers while most of the south is hot and dry. Most of the large lakes and rivers are evaporated or dwindling in short supply. In the tropics most of the forests have died out and have become scrubby savannah.
Due to severe drought and the heat of the tropics, the amazon rainforest has dried up and has been replaced by Savanna. Here it rains only for two brief months and Scattered trees drape the landscape. Wild fires are common through out the year.
is a social monkey
that inhabits the Amazonian grasslands
. It is descended from the uakari
, an adaptable monkey that inhabits rainforests. The babookari is the last of the primates. All other primates and their Caribbean relatives are extinct. It can grow to tall. The legs of the babookari lengthened so it can cover long distances and escape predatory carakillers
. Its tail also became longer to signal the rest of the troop. Otherwise the bright colors on its bald face and rear work well for signaling. The diet of the babookari is quite variable, eating just about anything available. To satisfy their poor diet, the babookari catch fish
by weaving basket
-like traps. Their predators include other babookaris and carakillers
is a giant flightless bird of prey. The carakiller inhabits the dry Amazonian
grasslands. The ancestor of the carakiller was the caracara
. The carakiller is much different. The caracara could still fly, but the carakiller became flightless. After becoming flightless, the carakiller specializes in speed. Packs of carakillers scour the grasslands, flushing out babookaris
in their wake. The wings of the carakiller became useful in another way - they became arms. The wing is tipped with a sharp claw, used for tearing up its prey. The carakiller stands about tall, sporting a bald head and neck. The only plumage on its head is a fan of display plumage, like those in the tail of a peacock
, used for signaling each other. Carakillers commonly hunt along the edges of brushfires
, killing animals struggling to escape from the flames. Its appearance resembles the extinct terror birds
, which also lived in South America.
The rattleback inhabits the tropical Amazonian
grasslands of South America
. Its body is covered in tough armored scales, made from compressed hair (such hair forms the scales of pangolins
and the horns of rhinoceroses
). This armor is hollow, so when shaken these plates rattle, hence the name "rattleback".
The rattleback evolved from a terrestrial South American rodent, possibly the paca but probably the agouti. Once the rainforests opened into grasslands, the pacas/agoutis had no place to hide and no defense against predators. The pacas/agoutis have to migrate north to find food. The rattleback specializes in such tactics.
The rattleback has massive armored plates to defend itself against predators, like the carakiller
. Even its face is armored and its sides are laced with spines. These plates are also used for territorial display, fending off invaders. The rattleback is carnivorous, feeding on carakiller eggs. When there is a bushfire
, the rattleback's fire-proof
scales help it avoid being burned. The grassland rattleback uses the spines on its sides to lodge itself tightly to the ground so it can not be easily dislodged by a carakiller and because of this it does not curl up into a ball like modern day pangolins
The cryptile is a small lizard
, about 18 inches long that imitates the frilled lizard
. It inhabits the salt flats
of the dry bed of the Mediterranean Sea
. It runs on two legs, minimizing its contact with the hot salt. Its tail is elongated to balance such an agile gait. It has a large net-like frill around its neck, reinforced with ribs of cartilage
. The frill is full of holes and covered in a waxy adhesive
. The cryptile eats brine flies
, using its net-like frill to catch flies, and licking them off with its tongue. Both sexes have an extra crest atop the head, used for display and communication. The only time a cryptile leaves the salt flats is to lay eggs
among the limestone plateaus, where it has problems keeping its eggs from being eaten by grykens and scrofas.
The gryken is a small predatory mammal, roughly long and is descended from pine martens
and lives on the rocky plateaus on the Mediterranean Basin. It is related to the larger snowstalker
, which lives in the Arctic north. Since its ancestors were tree-dwellers, the change to terrestrial life took place during the colder climate of the ice age
at this time. A similar evolution occurred in the past, producing prairie dogs
. In the gryken, its tail became shorter and its feet longer. Overall its build is much like that of a dachshund
, with an elongated body and short legs. This body design is perfect for wriggling through the deep cracks in the rocky surface, or grykes. However it can only accomplish short bursts of speed for catching prey, such as cryptiles
and baby scrofas
. To make up for this, the gryken evolved sharp canine teeth for disemboweling its prey. The gryken has probably evolved to take the place of the lynx
or another large predator that was around during the time when humans still walked the earth. In fact, it was probably humans that caused the extinction of the dominant predator in that area. This would have left an ecological niche that would need to be filled quickly so as to keep the population of herbivores in check. The gryken was in the best position to fill this niche because it was the only predator left in the area.
The scrofa is descended from wild boars
(but are very small by pig standards, only 8-12 inches high) and lives on the remains of Mediterranean islands. They have very narrow legs so they can move quickly and safely climb rocks. They do not appear to be very intelligent and are hunted by the Gryken. The scrofa walks on the tips of its hooves, leaping across the grykes like a pig ballerina. According to the book, males stay with the group as juveniles, and strike out on their own once they reach adulthood. Each scrofa group is co-lead by two dominant females.
Northern European Ice
The gannetwhale is a large seal
that grows 14 feet (4.3 m) long and lives along the Atlantic
coast of northern Europe
. The gannetwhale evolved from gannets
: seabirds that can swim underwater and can also fly. The gannetwhale however is flightless, turning its wings
into flippers for swimming. Unfortunately it still needs to return to land to lay eggs, leaving it vulnerable to predators
. Females lay a single egg during the short summer, balancing it on its feet, so it stays warm. Gannetwhales hunt fish and squid in the Arctic waters. The gannetwhale has a powerful beak and the ability to vomit up half-digested fish and squid from its gut as protection from predators, especially snowstalkers, which have sensitive noses.
The shagrat is a giant rodent
that inhabits the northern European tundra
. The shagrat is descended from marmots
, which today inhabit harsh tundra-like regions in mountains
. The shagrat stands tall and is built similarly to mammoths
. They most closely resemble the capybara
. It has short legs, short tail, and other small extremities. Its body is covered with two types of hair: woolly underfur and hollow air-filled guard hairs. Those and a layer of fat beneath the skin protect it from the cold. Shagrats wander in herds, feeding on shrubs and grass
. It fears the deadly snowstalker, which brings down weak shagrats with its dagger-like saber-teeth. Its only defense is staying with its herd. Shagrats also defend themselves by making a protective circle.
The snowstalker is a saber-toothed mustelid
. It is descended from the wolverine
and inhabits the tundra
of Northern Europe
. The creators recognized the adaptability of wolverines and the past records of saber-toothed cats
during the last ice age
. The saber-teeth evolved to kill large shagrats, since the snowstalker should not waste too much energy bringing down large prey. All the snowstalker does is bite and wait for its victim to die. Also, it will sometimes approach nesting gannetwhales to get at their eggs and chicks. The snowstalker grows high at the shoulder, in length and weigh at 75 pounds, making it larger than its descendent, and is covered in a thick white pelt for camouflage
against the snow. The female snowstalker has a quick estrus cycle
, lasting about three weeks. The reason for this is snowstalkers are solitary and have massive territories due to lack of prey. The Snowstalker resembles a sabertooth pit bullpolar bear
North American Desert
The deathgleaner is a giant predatory
descendant of the vampire bat
that inhabits the North American
. Due to the freezing temperatures of the desert night, the deathgleaner is a diurnal
hunting bat. The deathgleaner hunts spinks
and young desert rattlebacks
, plus it eats carrion
. The deathgleaner has a wingspan of over across, rendering it to solve the same problems of the pterosaurs
of the past. Its wings are fragile membranes and they lose heat easily. The deathgleaners solved the problem of heat loss by evolving a mechanism that cools the blood before it reaches its wings. Flocks of deathgleaners follow rattlebacks. When a desert rattleback uncovers tubers
for food, it also uncovers spinks
. The deathgleaners then attack the spinks. To promote survival, the deathgleaners share their food with roostmates.
There is a North American
sub-species of the South American rattleback, which feed on tubers. In the harsh desert the insulation properties of the scales and the behaviour of clamping down to the ground have helped it thrive in the hostile desert. Bristles around face keep sand out of the face.
The spink is a burrowing bird that inhabits the dry, cold, North American deserts and grows to 10-12 inches long. The ancestor of the spink is the quail
: a type of game bird that spends most of its time on the ground. The spink looks like a mole
, with a rounded body and a small beak. Its tail feathers and bird-like feet betray its ancestry. The book describes the spink's eyes as "mere pinpricks". Spinks communicate by squeaks, warbles, and little songs. Its wings are reduced to spade-like forelimbs, sheathed in keratin
. The spink is a colonial bird, dwelling in colonies like those of mole rats
. Queen spinks sit on eggs, most of which would hatch into new workers. Spinks eat tubers and create intricate tunnel systems just to find them. However, spinks are helpless on the desert surface, where they become prey for deathgleaners.
Spinks seem to show sexual dimorphism, with females being brown, while males are black and white patterned.
100 million years
The falconfly is a giant wasp
that inhabits the rainforests
. With a 70-80 cm wingspan, it is about the same size as a modern kestrel
. Its massive size is the result of enrichment of oxygen
in the atmosphere, which had also allowed for the evolution of giant insects during the Carboniferous
period. The falconfly hunts flutterbirds, using skewer
-like front legs to skewer its prey and cleaver-like jaws for butchering it. It creates nests underground, feeding its giant larvae juicy bits of flutterbird. However, the falconfly avoids the spitfire bird, which is known to spray acid
False Spitfire Bird
The false spitfire bird is a close relative of the Spitfire bird
. A prime example of batesian mimicry
, this flutterbird is nearly identical to the spitfire bird. It simply hovers around spitfire trees and when a falconfly
is spotted it dips its beak into the flower, not gathering chemicals, but pretending to do so to scare the huge wasp
The roachcutter is a small purple bird with a thick beak. It is descended from the tube-nosed birds that inhabited Antarctica in the 21st century, and have adapted to live in the 100 myh
Antarctic forest (as Antarctica would then occupy a tropical position). Due to its elegant wing design, the roachcutter is the fastest and one of the most manoeuverable birds living in the Antarctic forests. Like Gallimimus
and the other ostrich dinosaurs of the Mesozoic
, the roachcutter has virtually no method of defence other than its speed, so it is still sometimes caught and killed by the giant predatory wasp, the falconfly.
The spitfire beetle inhabits the rainforests
of Antarctica. The ancestors of the spitfire beetle are the blister beetle
. They appear to be rather large, at least half the size of the spitfire birds that they hunt. Their evolution coincides with the spitfire tree and the spitfire bird. The spitfire bird defends itself from predatory
insects like the falconfly by spraying hot chemicals, which are collected from the flowers of the spitfire tree. The spitfire beetle found a way around this. Their wings and wingcases are patterned like the flower of the spitfire tree. When four beetles arrange their wings and wingcases at the right angle, they imitate the spitfire flower. The spitfire bird visits flowers when it needs the chemicals used for defense. So when approached by the spitfire bird, the spitfire beetles all fall upon their victim and eat it. When the spitfire tree stops flowering, the spitfire beetles lay their eggs in groups of four and die. As the larvae
develop over the winter, they emerge during the spring to feed on more spitfire birds.
In the tropical forests, the spitfire bird has adapted the ability to spray corrosive chemicals to fend off predators like the falconfly
. They get their chemical weapons from a tree called the spitfire tree. It is descended from a modern petrels
and still have the petrel's nose tubes. Among their predators are the spitfire beetles
, which mimic spitfire flowers to ambush their prey.
A species similar in appearance, the false spitfire bird, has also evolved but that species is harmless, using its colors to scare predators.
The lurkfish grows long and lives in the Bengal Swamp
. The lurkfish is descended from electric catfish
. It has evolved a sophisticated way of killing venomous swampuses
. The lurkfish has a massive head, branch-like barbs, and an elongated body. All those can advance its surface area to store muscle blocks that produce electricity. To hunt, it creates a weak electric field and detects whatever movement goes through the field. Once its victim comes within range, it releases a thousand volts
to stun its prey. Then the lurkfish can eat in leisure. This behavior is similar to many electric fish in murky, brackish water - such as the electric eel
. It occupies a similar niche to crocodiles
Descendants of octopuses
, swampuses live in the brackish Bengal swamps
, formed when Africa merged with and blocked the Bay of Bengal
. They have a deadly venomous bite that can even kill a baby toraton
. Unfortunately for the swampus, adult toratons have no predators and are not affected by their venom. One of the few creatures capable of killing a swampus is the lurkfish, which uses the electric field
surrounding its body to stun the swampus. Infant swampuses are nurtured in a leafy plant filled with fresh water, into which the mother urinates to maintain the proper salinity. Four of the swampus' arms have changed into four individual snail-style foot-muscles, and its mantle
cavity can also be used as a lung
, allowing it to stay out of water for up to four days.
The toraton lurks in the Bengal Swamp, which replaced the Bay of Bengal
after East Africa collides with Southeast Asia. The toraton is 23 feet (7 m) tall and weighs 120 tons. It is descended from modern tortoises
. The toraton is the largest creature to walk the earth, if measured in terms of bulk and weight (growing even larger than the dinosaurs
), though the sauropod Argentinosaurus
and other giant sauropods like it rival the giant turtle in weight. Although young toratons are small enough to be killed by swampus
venom, the adults are too big to be harmed. In fact, a full grown toraton has no predators. The toraton eats constantly, consuming 1,300 pounds of vegetation a day. It requires less food than a mammal
of the same size because of its ectothermic
The toraton cannot withdraw into its shell like the tortoise could, but its shell is used to protect and partially support its muscles.
The toraton has evolved a digestive system that has a muscular stomach to grind its food, and a gut filled with bacteria to digest the rest of the vegetation. Its legs have moved directly underneath its body to support the tons of massive muscle on this enormous creature.
In the children's TV series, the toraton knows when it is about to die. Most toraton carcasses are found in large groups (similar to elephants) that are like toraton graveyards. It is also said that the toraton have special bacteria that produces a tremendous amount of heat when the toraton's body decays. When toraton infants hatch their mother must help break them free with her beak. Toraton infants must consume special chemicals found only in their mother's waste to grow large.
Great blue windrunner
The great blue windrunner is a large bird with a wingspan of 3 meters (about 10 feet). This bird inhabits the mountainous
during the warmer months. Its ancestors were cranes
. The Great Plateau is much higher than the former Tibetan Plateau
, so the windrunner had to adapt to cope with the thin air. These birds are able to reach high altitudes but the thin air cannot support wings
as well as denser air near the ground, and the windrunner must also be able to spend its winters in the lowlands. To solve the problem, the windrunner evolved flight feathers on its legs, so it can use them as an extra pair of wings for gliding by spreading them out to the sides in midflight, like the prehistoric Microraptor
. Its head also has feathery tufts which act as gliding wings to support its head in flight. At such high altitude, more ultraviolet light
from the sun leaks through the atmosphere. The windrunner is covered in fluorescent blue feathers
that reflect this ultraviolet light. Windrunners can also see in ultraviolet and so use the light to recognize one another. Their eyes are protected from this otherwise dangerous light by lenses which act as "built-in sunglasses". The great blue windrunners primarily eat silver spiders
snatched from their webs.
A species of plant in the Great Plateau that is harvested by Silver Spiders to feed the Poggles,descended from bamboo.
The poggle inhabits the Great Plateau
(the point where Australia
collides with Asia
and North America
). The poggle is a small large-eyed rodent
which evolved from hamsters. After 100 million years, the poggle is the last mammal to survive. Once the climate warmed up, insects, birds, and reptiles rose to dominance, quickly displacing the mammals. Poggles are very prolific mammals and they feast on grass tree seeds
. They live in small caves along with silver spider colonies. The spiders provide the seeds for the poggles. Once the poggles become fat and slow, the spiders slaughter one and eat it. Just as the poggles rely on the spiders for seeds, so too do the spiders for poggle flesh.
The silver spider is a colonial spider
that inhabits the Great Plateau
. The silver spider is silvery
to reflect ultraviolet light
. Otherwise its greenish stripes along its silvery body is used to foil its main predator: the great blue windrunner. Since the windrunner sees in ultraviolet light, the silver spider creates an ultraviolet pattern that makes it imitate a grass tree seed
Silver spiders are divided into castes depending on size. The smallest and youngest spiders start a web by ballooning over a ravine, trailing a line of silk behind it. Larger web-building spiders start the framework of the web and fill in the gaps. These webs are for trapping grass-tree seeds, which are blown by the wind into the webs. Harvester spiders collect the seeds and pile them in their nest. These seeds are fed to poggles, which are the main food for the spiders and the last species of mammal. This is not a surprising relationship for today leafcutter ants do a similar thing: collect leaves to feed to a fungus. The largest member of the spider colony is the queen, which grows to the size of a football and is the only spider to breed in the colony. When the fat poggles living in the silver spider colony are killed, one by one, often according to the poggle's age, they are fed to the queen first to trigger a reproductive hormone to produce eggs and eventually, more spiders.
The ocean phantom is a huge sea creature that visits the algal reef, approximately 30 feet (9 m) long and 13 (3.9 m) feet wide. Descended from the present day portuguese man-of-war
, they form a floating mass with highly advanced systems of coordination and functions. Each phantom is actually a colony of thousands of individual creatures, such as spindletroopers, combined into one giant organism.
The reef gliders descended from sea slugs
. The adults are 13 feet (3.9 m) long and shaped like a giant teardrop. Swimming using a series of wings along their flanks, they patrol the shallow seas hunting for ocean phantoms. They have keen eyesight and can also sense chemical changes in the water. Because of its body size and behavior, the reef glider has probably evolved to take the place of the whales and seals from modern times. This is not unlike the gannetwhale, which evolved to fill this niche 95,000,000 years earlier. The baby reef gliders eat red algae, and are horrifically hunted by the ocean phantom. The adults, however, are much larger than the babies, and hunt ocean phantoms.
The spindletrooper exists in a symbiotic relationship with another fictional creature, the ocean phantom, a future descendant of Siphonophora
(creatures related to the Portuguese Man O' War
). When the ocean phantom is attacked by a reef glider, the ocean phantom releases the spindletroopers to protect itself. Upon being released, the spindle troopers climb down the tentacles of the ocean phantom and spear the predatory reef gliders with its poisonous fangs. In return for protection, the ocean phantom feeds the spindle troopers.
200 million years
The gardenworm is an 18 inch (0.45 m) long wormlike creature with a symbiotic algae
in its multi-branched limbs. During the day it goes above ground and spreads these leaf-like limbs to the sun, where the algae feeds the gardenworm through photosynthesis
. While feeding thus, it resembles a plant. The gardenworm is vulnerable to terabytes while on land, as they "farm" its algae inside their nests.
When not above ground, the worm lives in the large reservoirs of groundwater below the desert, where it is vulnerable to attacks from slickribbons. If pursued by a slickribbon, it can release a cloud of white, smokey liquid that serves as a distraction, allowing the gardenworm to escape.
These are very simple worms that swim around in dark caves. They live on bacteria and are eaten by just about anything else in the cave. All the species of worm here except the garden worm, which evolved from convoluta worms are descended from a common ancestor, a bristleworm that survived the mass extinction by living in caves. Its family is bacteriophagidae.
The slickribbon is a purple, semitransparent wormlike
creature up to in length. It has powerful pincer jaws mounted on a springy trunk, and is equipped with numerous bristles on its side to help with swimming and sensing water pressure changes. The Slickribbon mainly feeds on gardenworms and gloomworms. It is the only predator in the underwater caves where it lives. Its family is Megafaucidae.
-like desert insects
. They are the descendants of modern termites
Like termites, terabytes are organized into castes but are even more specialized than any present-day insects:
- Transporters, which carry other legless castes to a specified area
- Gum-spitters,which do nothing else but spit sticky gum for building purposes
- Rock-borers, which use chemicals to dissolve the hard limestone under the desert to get to the underground pools below (the chemical in question is concentrated hydrochloric acid).
- Biters, that we never see, bite at the limestone along with rock-borers to get to the pools below. As their names imply, they have strong jaws.
- Water-carriers, which suck up water to water the algae that they grow.
- Warriors- Spit chemicals much like the rock borers, but for defensive purposes.
To get this algae they have to fight gardenworms. The terabytes cultivate gardenworm algae in their mounds, using the water-carriers to water it, and getting it sunlight from transparent panes in the top made of terabyte saliva. Gardenworms are either found vulnerable, lying around near oases, or inaccessibly swimming around in the underground caves. The transporter terabytes carry gum-spitters to the attack point and the gum-spitters freeze the worms in their tracks. Then other transporter terabytes apprehend the worms to grab some algae to take back to their enormous nests. Underneath the nests are a series of caverns that disperse heat from the nests. This is so the terabytes don't get hot in the blistering desert.
The ocean flish is descended from cod
, which was one of the last fish on Earth 200 million years from now. Unlike the flying fish, the flish can accomplish something beyond any modern fish: flight. Today, flying fish
use their broad fins for gliding. The flish takes this one step further. It attaches powerful pectoral fin muscles to its gill arches. It breathes air outside of water. The flish retains two pelvic fins for resting atop the oceanic surface. To provide more force for flight, the caudal fins rotated 90 degrees, so they are flat like the flukes of a whale
. Because birds are extinct when flish evolved, the flish filled every niche of seabirds along the global ocean that surrounds Pangaea II. They hunt silverswimmers
and are in turn hunted by rainbow squid
. Flish hunt by expanding toothed jaws from its beak-like sheath.
Not a Terasquid, the rainbow squid is one of the ocean's largest species, and a giant carnivorous descendant of squids
, with a total length of 120 feet (36 m) long. When hunting it can change colour and camouflage
well, it can even make video displays. It is nearly at the top of the food chain but is still disturbed and hunted by the pack-hunting sharkopaths. Rainbow squid hunt ocean flish. To catch an ocean flish, the squid mimics a group of silverswimmers, the flish's prey. When a flish comes close, the rainbow squid will lash out and grab the ocean flish. Rainbow squids are, however, a banquet themselves for the sharkopaths who hunt them. When attracting a female the male displays flashing bioluminescence
from which the species derives its name; as an unfortunate side-effect, this makes it easily visible to predators. Overall, the appearance of this future squid is a bit different from any present-day squid. This is mostly due to its wide, flat purple tentacles and body.
The sharkopath are an advanced pack-hunting descendant of the spined pygmy shark
that can grow up to 13 feet (3.9 m) in length and hunt in packs of dozens of individuals. They can hunt at speeds of over and have powerful jaws with steely teeth, and the force of 40,000 pounds per square inch. They have specialized ridges around their heads packed with sense organs. Within the array each individual passes information on the location of prey to the others around it via bioluminescent
patches that run along their flanks. These features help make it possible for a pack of sharkopaths to hunt down and kill prey ranging from silverswimmers
to the massive rainbow squid
, which are many times their size.
In the future, virtually all the species of fish have been wiped out, leaving all the niches they filled vacant and Silverswimmers, neotenous
forms of crab
, have filled that vacancy. Their ancestors were microscopic crab
larvae, but now they are as diverse in size and shape as fish
once were, and they fill the void in the sea left by the absence of fish. There are hundreds of different species of Silverswimmer and they fill every available niche. Some are predators, some prey, some are parasites and others are scavengers. Only one filter-feeding species is focussed on.
Along the northwestern coast of Pangaea II, flish evolved to fit the role of forest birds. Unlike the oceanic flish, the forest flish has hook-like claws on its pelvic fins for hanging upside-down. They are also much smaller, taking on the role of old world hummingbirds and general forest birds.The forest flish is desceded from flying fish
After mammals became extinct, squids filled in the niches, creating a new group, called Terasquids. The Squibbon and the Megasquid are the examples shown. The megasquid is about 12-feet (3.65 m) tall, 8 ton terrestrial air-breathing descendant of squid
. With tentacles that extend to 10 feet (3 m) and rhino
-like skin, the megasquid is a formidable creature. It roams the northern forests of the planet. Eight of its arms have evolved to become legs that look like thick columns, each about 1/3 of a meter thick. The remaining two arms have evolved to become manipulatory tentacle-like appendages. Its locomotion is different from other animals: it first moves its right front and back legs and the left middle legs, then its left front and back legs and its right middle legs. Although it would appear that an invertebrate
of this size would not be able to live on land (it would be crushed by gravity and lack of bones), it has specialized muscles that form rings and columns in the legs to form a mock skeleton-like supporting structure. On its forehead is a pouch for producing a call akin to that of a frog
. Its main food source is fruit and Squibbon.
It is similar to the kaiju named Gezora.
The slithersucker is a huge slime mold
which dwells in forests. It hangs from a tree branch, dangling a curtain of sticky material to ensnare passing forest flish. It mimics a lichen tree seed capsule in order to be ingested and dispersed by megasquids. The slithersucker inflames the megasquids brain and essentially controls it. It then makes the terasquid sneeze out bits of it, spreading it througout the forest.
After mammals became extinct, squids filled in the nitches, creating a new group. They are Terasquids. The Squibbon and the Megasquid are examples. Squibbons are air-breathing descendants of squid
who can swing through trees. They swing better than modern day gibbons
due to their lack of an internal skeleton. Because of their need to coordinate their many-muscled limbs and the complex visual perception needed to swing from branch to branch, their brains are highly developed. As a result, they are highly intelligent and can even outsmart a megasquid, which sometimes tries to eat them. They are highly agile, snatching Forest Flish from the air to eat. It is implied that they have the capacity to evolve into sapient
beings, thus allowing civilization to once again develop on Earth.
The bumblebeetle is a sparrow
-sized descendant of beetles
that inhabits the Rainshadow Desert
II). The wingcases of the bumblebeetle reduce to streamlined airfoils. Its body is covered in sensory hairs, specifically for detecting scent. The bumblebeetle has no mouth and practically no digestive system: the bumblebeetle spends only a day in its adult form. It has fat reserves for food, from the larval stage of its life, Grimworms, that feed on Ocean Flish carcasses and on each other. The bumblebeetle mates in its larval form and then spends its entire adult life pregnant and searching for flish carcasses, in which to release its young. After this it dies, also becoming food for its larvae. Most of its life, the bumblebeetle is a larva, which is called a grimworm
. When a bumblebeetle emerges as an adult, it already carries its cargo of grimworms. Then it flies away to a flish carcass. With no other landmasses to break up storms, powerful hurricanes called "hypercanes" blow unlucky flish over the mountains into the desert, where the dry atmosphere kills them. When the bumblebeetle finds a dead or dying flish, its abdomen splits to release the grimworms and dies. The grimworms burrow into the flish and eat the rotting flesh. Male grimworms leave for other flish carcasses and mate with female grimworms. When the flish carcass is stripped of flesh, the grimworm females pupate and emerge as adult bumblebeetles. Thus all bumblebeetles are female.
The bumblebeetle serves another role to the Rainshadow Desert ecology. The deathbottle plant can fertilize itself, but it can not spread its seeds. So it evolves silvery leaves that imitate a flish corpse. Bumblebeetles land on this leaf and fall into a seed chamber. Covered in adhesive seeds, the bumblebeetle deposits them far from the parent plant.
The deathbottle grows in the Rainshadow Desert of the continent of Pangea
II. It grows natural pitfall
traps lined with poisonous spikes. Desert hoppers sometimes land on these traps and fall into them, where they are impaled and consumed. Since its main diet consists of animals, it is a carnivorous plant
Deathbottles reproduce with seeds. Since they are incapable of spreading them on their own, they rely on bumblebeetles to spread them. Bumblebeetles are drawn into a seed chamber that imitates the appearance and odor of a dead flish on the outside. After many adhesive seeds attach to the bumblebeetle, it is catapulted out of the seed chamber and continues on its way.
The desert hopper is a snail
about tall that inhabits the Rainshadow Desert
. Today, snails are restricted in size on land and they slide along on a sheet of mucus
. In a desert, water for creating a lubricant is too valuable for use since water could be lost easily. The desert hopper takes this specialization a step further. Instead of eyes
on stalks, the eyes of the desert hopper rest on movable turrets like those of chameleons
. To conserve water, the desert hopper's skin is like that of modern reptiles
. Instead of sliding on mucus, the foot of the desert hopper modified like a spring for hopping over the desert. To eat tough desert plants, its toothed tongue functions like a drill
to bore into plant material. This weakness for plant food makes it common prey for deathbottles. To protect itself from intense heat and predators, the desert hopper retreats into a spike-covered eight-inch (203 mm) shell and burrows underground. During mating season males and females gather to find a fit mate. In order to attract a female males box each other like the present day Kangaroos
do. Once a male succeeds in driving off other males he will escort a female to the breeding grounds. After mating the female lays eggs and both parents tend to the eggs for 12 weeks till the eggs hatch. Parents take care of their young until they are one year old.