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Hothouse Earth: Siberian Ostrich

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During the hothouse era, Northern Asia is much diffirent than it is now. Instead of boreal forests and frozen tundras, it is filled with temperate, deciduous forests, that experienced warm, moist summers, and cool winters. This forest is one of the largest, covering 18 million square kilometers, and stretching from the Atlantic to the Pacific coast.

The area is filled with many species of both flora and fauna, but one of the strangest creatures to inhabit this place is the Siberian Ostrich.

The Siberian Ostrich (Neostruthio Siberiansis) is a species of Ostrich that inhabits the large, temperate forests of northern Asia. Unlike it's ancestors, which lived in hot and open enviornments, the Siberian Ostrich is adapted for a cooler, closed in enviornment. Because of this, it is slower than other Ostrich species, and relies more on defending itself from predators, rather than escaping them. It is usually preyed upon by Tigers, Wolves, and Bears. It uses it's sharp toe claws to kick at predators, similar to Cassowaries of today. 

They also have a reddish brown coat, dotted with faint spots, along with a black head and neck, and cream underside. This allows it to camoflauge in the forests, and when fall arrives, they can seem nearly invisible among the branches and leaves. Like their ancestors, they hace a similar social life, with a male and female living as a pair for parts of the year. During mating season, herds form, with a dominant male leading the group. The male decides the decisions of the herd,  like where to eat, drink, nest, etc. Their diets usually include seeds and fallen fruit from trees, but they also sometimes eat small animals, such as lizards, rodents, etc. 

The Siberian Ostrich would become a very successful species, having a large range, and a high population, ususally over 20 million individuals. They evolved from Ostriches that migrated to Asia, similar to what they did in the pleistocene, and adapting to the new forest envionrment, most likely to avoid competition with other ostriches. Siberian Ostriches first evolved around 5 million years in the future, but would go extinct around 10 million years in the future, from being outcompeted by other ostrich species. Some descendants of the species even split off from the Siberian Ostrich, and lived on islands such as Hokkaido, and the British Isles, where they would undergoe insular dwarfism.
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Libra1010's avatar

I really like the pattern on this animal's coat!