Flying VelociraptorsDeinonychosauria is one of the most apreciated dinosaur clades, but more often than not for quite erroneous reasons. The classical perception of predatory, super-intelligent giant "lizards" has not died yet, depicting creatures that are less real and more twisted fantasies of delluded minds. Instead of yet another breed of mythological dragon, dromaeosaurs and troodontids were normal animals, but yet quite unique in that they represent the avian prototype, the type of animal from which modern birds emerged. And like their surviving cousins, they too had an advantage over other dinosaurs: the air.Flying Velociraptors3 years ago in Academic Essays More Like This
The close relationship between deinonychosaurs and Aves/Avialae has led since very early to the speculation that troodontids, dromaeosaurs and birds share a common, flying ancestor. Indeed, the famous generic basal avian, Archeopteryx, is very similar to basal troodontids, and the earliest troondontids and one entire linage of dromaeosaurids, Microraptorinae, as well as Rahonavis
Matahourua: HistoryIn the beginning, the ancient people lived on Hawaiki. Hawaiki was then lush and green, productive and fruitful, fertile and beautiful; it was an island, or maybe an archipelago, to the north and to the east, where it is hot and there are no seasons; it was like those islands spread across the vast sea of the shark gods, but it was much bigger and much more plentiful. There, food and water were enough for all of us.Matahourua: History3 years ago in Settings More Like This
But our ancestors knew little. They were not from Hawaiki, you see, they came to Hawaiki from elsewhere; some say an island so big it'd make even the Wild Lands to the west small. Once they got there, they found it so much of a Paradise that they made no effords to contain themselves. They hunted all birds and other animals, they ate all fruits and brought down all trees; the land was brought to its knees, no longer capable for farming. Even the seas around Hawaiki were left empty. The people grew hungrier, only the kiore remaining, and no longer with trees to make new boat
Porpin ReinterpretationWhen Mankind was gone, marine tetrapods quickly recovered whatever blows they had received. Soon, cetaceans, pinnipedes and sirenians regained their former glory. However, in a curious succession of events, both cetaceans and sirenians declined, and by 10 million years after they had disappeared. Pinnipedes, suffering little to no casualities, were the first to claim empty niches, but other groups also rised up.Porpin Reinterpretation3 years ago in Settings More Like This
20 million years after Man, the seas of the southern hemisphere are home to the Porpin (Stenavis piscivora), a strange looking creature. With an elongated body, vaguely similar to that of the old dolphins, few people would expect this to actually be a bird, although the long, orange serrated bill might give a clue. Black with a white underside, its ancestors are predictably the penguins that occured in the southern seas during the age of Man. While pinnipedes rose to take the niches of the whales, penguins also made several attempts; most of these are mere scaled
Meganesean sawfishMeganesian sawfish (Pristis meganesianus)Meganesean sawfish3 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
Order: Sawfishes (Pristiformes)
Family: Sawfishes (Pristidae)
Habitat: rivers of Meganesia.
During Holocene sea ecosystems had suffered not less than land ones, because people polluted ocean and caught many species of food fishes and invertebrates, not reflecting about the future. Besides "planktonic accident" had caused destruction of great number of species of pelagic animals. Species had not died out during the reorganization of ecosystems, should adapt to existing is sharply changed conditions of Neocene. Bentic communities of coastal waters had suffered lesser; more kinds inhabited such areas had kept. Dwarf sawfish (Pristis clavata) was among ones managed to survive in epoch of anthropogenous pressure and biological crisis. Having managed to go through threat from the side of people in Holocene, in Neocene it was compelled to adapt to new neighbours: Neocene saw-nosed crocodile (Pristisuchus serratorostris) had occupied the ecological nic
Neocene idea 2Giant Sawshark (Pristiocephalus vermitops)Neocene idea 23 years ago in Settings More Like This
Range: Caribbean; occurs both in fresh and salt water habitats on the sea itself, on the islands and on the north american and south american coasts
Sawfish were a linage of basal rays that developed their unique saw like rostrums as a way to kill prey. After an entire period of glory that lasted since the Cretaceous, the Holocene brought them to the shores of death as humans killed them off. The ending result is that the Neocene only saw the survival of one species, whose descendents now occur in Meganesia's rivers. In the mean time, some other animals evolved to fill the sawfish niche. Crocodiles, for instance, developed their own saw snouted forms. But not all replacements are totally new lifeforms; some have just been waiting for many million years for an opportuinity like this.
The zone of the Caribbean, once again now connecting the Atlantic to the Pacific, is the home for a curious critter. At the first sight, the Giant Sawshark resembl
Choristodera updatedChoristodera is an unusual linage of diapsid sauropsids. Having evolved in the late Triassic, at the very end of the reptilian radiation that preceeded the reign of the dinosaurs, these animals diversified as aquatic animals. Their relationships with other reptiles aren't well known; some have related them to lepidosaurs, alongside sphenodontians and squamates. Others classified them as part of the archosauromorph radiation. Evidence doesn't seem to favor one group over the other in this, sharing features with both.Choristodera updated3 years ago in Settings More Like This
After their appearence in the Triassic, through most of the Mesozoic these aquatic reptiles were generally restricted to relative small, lizard like forms, occupying an ecological niche roughly similar to that of the modern Chinese Crocodile Lizard (Shinisaurus crocodylurus),whose evolution in our world occured after the extinction of small choristoderes in Asia; a linage of choristoderes, Hyphalosauridae, managed to go further, elongating their necks, becomin
The voice of PerunBrothers and Sisters,The voice of Perun3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
My fellow gods of equal
It is more of predicatory
Than honourous for them
To live for so long.
Of victory we were forged,
Of divinity we were bathed,
The ambrosia and ichor,
Bleeding from the vessels
Of the channel of the then
Worship powering nature,
Blood becoming divine fuel,
And prayers becoming acts.
What we offered them?
Nothing but rewards for
The hardest of all works;
Herakles and others were
Less desire gifts,
But gifts nonetheless,
And ichor can still be found,
Although miniscule in mass,
Among those who claim
The honour of the ancestral
I believe the golden blood
Still flows among the people,
From spartan paternity to
Jew and aryan.
What have they given us?
A lot of devotion,
But to what extent is that
The in following day,
In the following millenia,
Different from no other,
Declares us foul demons,
And many inoccent followers
Have their blood
The islandI swim through theThe island4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
Cold oceanic water,
An aquatic motion
On my hind limbs;
Happen to dive,
And my wings are
In this cold,
The echoes of my
Screams go without
My avian self of no
Importance to man.
To matter not.
The dolphins that
Swim beneath me
Or the wolf that goes
On american shore
Matter more than I
Ever will to man,
For I have nothing
Wrong and yet
Humans hate me
Or ignore me like
Just any bird,
Except sparrows for
Humans enjoy any
Animal that murders
For no reason.
Beneath me swims
The basking shark;
I feel sorry for it
Because humans hate
It even more than me,
Even if it harms no
Why are these rabid
Servants of cruel God
So obsessed with evil?
They sure love killing
Each other for not being
Christian or muslim or
Scientologist or mormon,
They sure love murdering
People who can't help
Who they love,
And in the end the only
Animals they love are those
Who murder for reas
Worms and Massage ChairsA few months ago I had some time off work, and a friend of mine suggested I visit 32314. I spent the following 3 weeks there, which proved to be a very interesting experience.Worms and Massage Chairs2 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
Somewhere between the bridge house and the hotel, a child leaped upon my back and started pummeling my shoulders violently. Fearing for my life and wallet, I tossed the parasite against a wall, much to the disgust of the passers-by. The child then flared his teeth in a way which my translator interpreted as "biscuits", though I'm sure he meant something more profane. Needless to say, it wasn't the best start to a holiday.
Upon entering the hotel I was greeted by another of the large worms, who extended a tendril in some sort of gestural greeting. He kept his tendril extended for quite some time, after which I realized I was probably meant to reciprocate the gesture, so I stuck my hand out too. He then grasped my wrist and started caressing my hand with his tendrils for another extended period of time, after which
Ecce Homo Acadiensis - PrologueThe world of great empires has long since passed away. None now live that remember the world of our ancient ancestors. Some say that they were as gods, with great power. They believe that these people had the ability to destroy the entire world with their weapons of war, and could release diseases that would wipe out all of humanity. Maybe that's how it started.Ecce Homo Acadiensis - Prologue1 year ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
It began with Pandora. Most historians believe that it was released from the jungles of Vietnam as its cities grew. Some even say that the reason the cities were forced to grow outward was because the seas rose and drowned the ancient coasts. Many are skeptical that this is possible, but more and more evidence mounts that shows this may actually have happened.
The plague of Pandora ravaged the world. The year 1 BF became known as the Great Dying to our ancestors. Within seven days, the disease had reached all seven continents. Within one year, one in four people on the planet were left alive. But that was just the beginning of
Aren Bestiary: Goblin Races - An IntroductionAren Bestiary: Goblin Races - An Introduction2 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
"To the northwest of Sal-Asrin, it is told, dwells a race of savage beast-men. They grow not larger than children but have the fierce strength of grown men. Their skin is a shade of grey with a hint of yellow or even a sickly green. Terrible fangs or tusks like those of a boar grow out their mouth, and they feed on all kinds of flesh, eating it raw like beasts of prey. Their ways are uncivilized and crude, and their tools and weapons are made of stone or wood. Their stench is said to be nigh unbearable."
-- Izmar Ban-Sadarin on goblins in Of People and Beasts of the Land.
Goblins are species of primitive sapients counted among the human genus, although they were originally thought more close to the wudas. Cases of interbreeding between human and goblin races prove the validity of this classification beyond any doubt, even though such "goblin-men" are always sterile. The history of goblins is poorly known and sketchy at best. The earliest accounts of goblins come from Velaneic ch
Harmageddon: Merciful DarknessHarmageddon: Merciful Darkness2 years ago in Settings More Like This
Eugenics, population control and infant mutilation in pre-Harmageddon War Infernian society
Ever since the great imp rebellion all Infernian children suspected to be of mixed blood had been put to death, but the roots of this law go even deeper in time. After the falling of the Nether Gate, when the numbers of demons and imps were small, the Archons sent out a commandment that all children born misshapen, sick or weak were to be killed, lest they consume the food and water from the strong and healthy and tarnish the coming generations with their imperfections. It seems clear they feared that inbreeding could undo all Infernians if draconian measures were not implemented.
These laws were never reversed, but they were mitigated to a degree as the Infernian civilization grew and stabilized. Though there was still no room for the unfit and infirm among the ranks of demons, imps were allowed to have as many children as they could raise, as long as they managed to take care
kangaroo opossumKangaroo opossum (Neodelphis aquapodae)kangaroo opossum2 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
Family: opossums (Didelphidae)
Habitat: North America
The history of North American marsupials like the other descendants from the South America in the time period of the Pliocene is sufficiently simple: they reached a certain success, but with the offense of the Ice Age they survived, in contrast to such placental beasts as the glyptodont and the jaguar. This success was based on the fact that the American marsupial animals (the opossums) are the ecological analogs of the placental rats and are also just as unpretentious in regards to their environment. Therefore, the main (and only) representative of the North American marsupials, the Virginian opossum (Didelphis virginiana), had wonderfully survived the epoch of man, and the beginning of the Neocene, and even occupied several new ecological niches, after evolving into several new species.
However, the kangaroo opossum is one of the most unusual descendants of
Harmageddon: Earth on HellHarmageddon: Earth on Hell2 years ago in Settings More Like This
At the very height of their power, the Atlantean civilization discovered the fallen City of the Heavens buried deep within the bedrock. Within it awaited its mystical source of power, the iridiscent element orichalcum. Stretching their ingenuity to its limits the Altanteans rebuilt many of the strange structures of the City of the Heavens, including a great gate to another word, an uninhabited realm with its sky clouded by ash and ground streaked with rivers of molten rock, which they named after the netherworld of their beliefs. Discovering many valuable ores, some of which did not seem to follow the laws of nature as they knew them, the Atlanteans began to settle the nether realm to mine its riches.
What they knew not was that this place was in fact a pocket universe created to serve as a prison for an immense ancient entity, the great sleeping dragon known as the Six-Horned One. For each of his horns he had a name: Leviathan, Ahriman, Tiamat, Yaldabaoth, Apep and Shemyazaz. Once thi
Flying Velociraptors: take 2Previously, I have ventured into the possibility that deinonychosaurs in general might had been far more volant than previously thought. The key points of the previous article:Flying Velociraptors: take 22 years ago in Academic Essays More Like This
1- Deinonychosaurs, much like megapodes and pterosaurs, had slow growth rates, and might had demonstrated superprecocial behaviour, implying that not only were the young independent, but also volant. By consequence, most if not all of Deinonychosauria engaged in aerial behaviour at least during the earliest part of their lives.
2- The widespread distribution of deinonychosaurs suggests that, much like the contemporary birds and pterosaurs, flight allowed them to colonise areas other theropods couldn't.
3- The absence of a well developed sternal keel, capacity of raising their forelimbs much above the back and of (in some cases), asymmetrical feathers does not mean flightlessness because several species developed what appear to have been cheap replacements.
4- Both Microraptor and Rahonavis demonstr
A Fish in The NoseMy dear friends, as you know, I've been to Mars on business and onlyA Fish in The Nose2 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
recently I've returned from my stay. By now you've probably received several
letters detailing my experiences, so I won't trouble you with redundancy
by retelling these stories. The ship I took home took six and a half weeks to
traverse the void, during which time I made several acquaintances. None were so
interesting as a man who never told me his name, as he was troubled by a most
logical paranoia. I kept a record of our conversations, as the tale he told me truly
"Before I begin, I shall warn you that what I say is to be trusted.
This is no mere campfire story. I am a respected scientist in my field, which I
shall not reveal to you due to my current situation. A man is looking for me, if
you could call him a man. Beware those who breathe deeply and stare with
empty eyes. That is the best advice anyone could give. A few months ago I was
part of a team exploring Arsia Mons, we were told there were seve
hook-faced goannaHook-snouted goanna (Varanus protorhynchus)hook-faced goanna3 years ago in Articles & Interviews More Like This
Order: Squamates (Squamata), suborder Lizards (Sauria)
Family: Monitor lizards (Varanidae)
Habitat: Meganesia, tropical rainforests at the north of the continent.
Hook-snouted goannas are large, dark green (up to black) reptiles (old males sometimes reach more than three meters in length) living in thickets alongside courses of wide streams and forest rivers where in forest canopy gleams appear and the plentiful underbrush develops on the ground. Their males do not have advanced gular sac, but along their backbone darker crest of corneous plaques stretches.
Though hook-snouted goannas live near water, they do not behave like their African relatives resembling crocodiles in their way of life. On the contrary, hook-snouted goannas prefer to watch for the prey at the riverbanks and seize it on land, or snatch out from water, standing on land. At these lizards the semblance of collective behaviour is advanced: large male gathers a harem of 5
Terra Alternativa 1Terra Alternativa is a speculative evolution project, focusing on the result of Cenozoic where many taxa of the late Cretaceous and Paleogene survived and prospered instead of dying out as in our world. Not exactly a "what if dinosaurs didn't died out" scenario, as most non-avian dinosaurs died anyway; its things like notosuchians, pterosaurs, choristoderes, sparassodonts and multituberculates that really matter; notably are the forms that are restricted to a few scarce forms in our world and that thrive in TA, such as tuataras and gingkos. Watch this alternate present day, where the world is at the same time familiar and very alien.Terra Alternativa 13 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
Episode 1: The mighty river Tagus
River Tagus is the longest river in the Iberian Peninsula, being born in the eastern highlands and making its way all across the middle of the subcontinent to end at the Atlantic. It runs along a faultline, and in our world the majority of iberian earthquakes have occured along its shores. In our world, t
Australian rabbit from NeoceneCommon Australian rabbit (Australagus papiliotis)Australian rabbit from Neocene3 years ago in Settings More Like This
Order: Lagomorphs (Lagomorpha)
Family: Hares (Leporidae)
Habitat: Western and central Meganesia (up to the eastern coast of Eyre gulf and
the zones bordering with the tropical rainforests at the north), various types
of biotopes, from dry savanna to temperate forest.
In late Eocene epoch, the southern remains of the large continent of Gondwana
broke in two great landmasses, Antarctica, and Australia, initiating the drift
of this enormous island to the north. As the result of many millions of years of
isolation from mainland, the Australian fauna became quite extraordinary and
unique; some of the most unusual creatures in the Cenozoic evolved here. During
late Holocene, the structure of this original fauna had considerably changed,
due to human activity: whereas many endemic species of this subcontinent have
disappeared, other ones, specially placental mammals were delivered from other
zones of the Earth. The introduction of foreign mamm
Neocene idea 1Gar Monitor (Lepisosteusaurus giganteus)Neocene idea 13 years ago in Settings More Like This
Range: Four Seas
Through most of the Cenozoic, crocodiles were the dominant large aquatic predators, having only to compete with their crocodillian cousins, the alligatorids and gavialids. However, as the Holocene saw its dusk, crocodiles, much like phytosaurs and champsosaurs before them, saw an ugly fate, and declined; by the present date in the Neocene, over 20 million years after Man and God saw their deaths, the last crocodiles are specialised marine forms, descended from australasian stock, with a few secondarily freshwater species in some rivers (their alligatorid relatives, however, are still somewhat diverse in South America). The disappearence of crocodiles from freshwater ecosystems opened new possibilities for many species; both North America and the Nile river both have a huge predatory turtle, and a few large fish have evolved in South America, Asia and Meganesia.
One particular group that benefited from the extinction of cr
Neocene Rodent IdeasRodents:Neocene Rodent Ideas7 months ago in Settings More Like This
A stone-piling mouse/rat, similar to the modern "pebble mound mouse", which makes piles of pebbles around its burrow/lair. In addition to fortification of the nest, the rodent may be like a small rat in size, having some way of throwing pebbles to confuse or deter predators. I'm not sure how a rodent would do this, backward kicking of the feet, or picking up with the mouth, and tossing might be easier than throwing with the hands.
Insectivorous/carnivorous or worm-eating rodents, specialists, need a better representation in the Neocene. Seeing as such things exist today, surely they would exist in the Neocene, probably in the absence of shrews. One modern example is the grasshopper mouse, which actively hunts large insects and small vertebrates. I am aware of the carnivorous dormice, but more "typical", rather small rodents I was thinking, tackling bugs and/or vertebrates, even sometimes killing ones as large or larger than themselves.
In south-east asia, there is a worm-eatin
Neocene Bat IdeasBat ideas for Neocene-Neocene Bat Ideas7 months ago in Settings More Like This
By Tim Morris and Paul Volkov
- Solitary fruit bat, eating poisonous fruits. Flesh is poisonous, and fur and wings are brightly colored. Perhaps, striped fur, black and white/cream, with reddish chest and head, and white facial "mask". The idea came from some islanders in the pacific suffering from severe illness from eating fruit bats, due to chemicals in the meat, from the fruit the bats ate. Such a bat would most likely exist in continental tropical rainforest, where a bat may pass to such a diet including only afew poisonous fruits, poisonous fruit being abundant in such forests (eg- today's amazonia).
- Solitary moth-eating bat living in forest, medium size, not roosting in caves or ledges, but clinging to the surface of trees. Coloration is cryptic, finely mottled markings, and "fringe" of fur, mimicking bark or lichen. Possible name - "shy bat". It spends the day on tree bark, and its long ears are folded forward and enclose its head almost entirely (hence
Cold War with the NewtsRiffin' on Karl Capek's "The War with the Newts"Cold War with the Newts1 year ago in Settings More Like This
By the year 2010 the Newt War has begun to recede into memory: it having essentially dragged to a stalemate in the late 1980s, a new generation has grown up neither knowing the Newts as the implacable enemy of their parents or the troubling slave-species of their grandparents. They are an Enemy, but the horror and revulsion of their parents towards Newts and anything "Newtish" somewhat disturbs young people.
But then, among the older generations, the old terror that the Newts might succeed in sinking the continents still lingers, in spite of Professor Appfelbanger of Ulm's calculation that the razing of Europe, the lowest-lying of the continents (which would require the removal of 735,000 cubic miles of rock and earth) would take a full billion Newts with the best equipment a nation that size could afford some 1,146.21 years (and of course, after the destruction of such traitorous (AKA "starving", "blockaded") nations as Japan and the UK
The bird of peaceThe vulture, for some reason, is evil to the eyes of this christian derived culture. Just because it feeds on the dead, just because it soars before those who died.The bird of peace3 years ago in Editorial More Like This
It is rather unfair to show such a magnificent, noble bird as evil. The vulture does not kill for food, the vulture cleans the Earth from the illness of death, of the carcasses that lie on the mountain, savanna, desert, scrub. On Eurasia, Africa and the Americas, two families of unrelated birds called vultures do this job of purifying the world of diseases, and yet people wish them nothing but harm.
The vulture was recognised as the bird of peace by many cultures, as it never kills. On North America, it was considered holier than the wolf or the eagle, animals seen as the favoured totems; on Ancient Egypt it was Mut, the mother goddess and the "chicken of the pharoh", considered an all female species and sacred to the gods, so none could hunt them. Many were the gods associated with the vulture; in Greek Mythology the great