The modern landmasses comprising Borealia
|Comprised of||North America, Australia, Afro-Eurasia|
|Ecoregions||Central Eurasian Steppe, north African Woodlands, North American Forest|
Today, the earth is firmly divided into six geological continents, and seven political ones. But from 32 MyF onwards, there are only three proper continents. The continents of Eurasia, Australia, Africa and North America have all collided to form the continent of Borealia, the precursor to Novopangaea, and the first proper supercontinent to form since the breakup of Gondwana in the late Mesozoic. Borealia is mostly in the Northern Hemisphere, with the North Pole centered over what is today central North America. Africa and Australia are tropical in climate, with warm and humid rainforest covering much of Africa, and some of Australia and southern Eurasia. The rest of Borealia is temperate in climate, with seasonal ice in the northernmost latitudes.
The fauna of Borealia is largely reptilian dominated, with a wide variety of herbivorous and carnivorous Lepidosaurs, some large crocodilians, and even some large tortoises being common inhabitants of the continent.
|Future of The World|
|This is a part of Future of The World: a collaborative project about our planet's future|
Central Eurasian SteppeEdit
Eurasia and Africa collided in the late Cenozoic, forming a colossal mountain range. A similar collision between Australia and the islands of Sundaland, and the pre-Holocene formation of the Himalayas, completely closed the last remnants of the ancient Tethys Ocean about 37 MyF. These mountains form a significant rain block, and central Eurasia is now a vast inhospitable steppe. Mammals have long surrendered their place as the rulers of the earth, though they are still found here in large numbers. Instead, the most obvious inhabitants of this cold desert are giant lizards.
- Common scutosquama, Scutosquama armata – The common scutosquama is a large Scutosaurus-like herbivorous lizard, a long distant descendant of modern Uromastyx lizards, and a distant relative of the coexisting porcupine lizard. The common scutosquama is the most common of a diverse and long-lived family, the Scutosquamidae. Common scutosquamas are large animals, with some weighing over a ton and measuring some 5 meters long. Despite this, the species is the main prey of most of the predators that coexist with them, and have developed a sort of armor plating on their back, and the spines on their tail have lengthened slightly. The common scutosquama appears to be the ancestor of the coexisting goliath scutosquama, suggesting that the group may be evolving to larger sizes, possibly to outpace their predators.
- Goliath scutosquama, Scutosquama gigantea – This larger relative of the common scutosquama is quite similar to its ancestor, but to support its great weight, it has developed more pillar-like legs. The largest of these behemoths can be over four tons in weight, and be almost ten meters long. Like their smaller relative, they are convergent on Scutosaurus, though to a somewhat lesser degree. Goliath scutosquamas are able to retain heat throughout the night, meaning they are somewhat rudimentary gigantotherms.
- Porcupine lizard, Hystricosaurus vulgaris – This lizard is descended from the spiny tailed Uromastyx lizards of modern day India. Their form is similar to their ancestors, but their spiny tails have developed into quills that make the lizard species quite unfavorable prey. They also, like most larger lizards of this time, have longer and more erect legs than their modern relatives. These animals likely represent what early scutosquamids loked like.
- Steppe saberdrake, Theriosaurus virosus – This monster is another descendant of monitors, but this species is a predator. Saberdrakes, or theriosaurids, are the apex predators of most parts of Borealia, only rivaled by Maurosodontids for supremacy. The steppe saberdrake is the largest species of saberdrake, being up to 8 meters long and weighing almost half a ton. Unlike most reptiles, Theriosaurids have a heterodont dentition, with the killing weapon being a pair of caniform teeth on both jaws that can measure up to 15 cm long. The lower teeth connect to a venom gland in their lower jaw, though most species have lost the need for venom due to their size. Most large saberdrakes can retain heat part of the way through the night, but still have a polikothermic metabolism which renders them as mostly diurnal hunters.
- Eurasian wyrm, Megasophis europaeus - One of the largest predators of the Eurasian Steppes. Smaller than its African relative, it can grow up to 7 meters (23 feet) long and weigh up to 620 kgs (1,370 ibs), but can be just as aggressive. It is well designed for taking down large prey, with a crushing bite force of 980 pounds psi, which allows it to penetrate the armor of some of its prey items. However, it also has a different alternative; it has knife-like teeth for shearing off flesh. If the prey is too large to kill, it can simply tear off pieces of flesh from the victim, simply "snacking" on the sheared flesh, also leaving the prey to provide food at a later date. This design is also effective in hunting smaller prey; after striking, the wyrm follows the prey until it collapses from blood loss, in which it consumes. Like most of its relatives, there is clear sexual dimorphism, with females being larger and having a light grey color, while males have a light brown coloration. Eurasian wyrms live in mated pairs for life, an unusual trait for Maurosodontids, whom both help to defend the nest. Like other primitive Maurosodontids, .
- Ambulodraco, Ambulodraco wyvernoides – Ambulodraco is a genus of derived bipedal gubernatotoid found throughout the Old World, one of the only completely bipedal squamates to exist. Ambulodraco are quite large, up to 6 meters long with a 5 meter wingspan, large enough to compete with saberdrakes, though their lighter build means they generally eat smaller prey. Unlike the mostly nonvenomous giant saberdrakes, ambulodracos have venom, and they can spit this venom with high accuracy up to three meters away. If it gets in a prey items eyes it will cause near instant blindness which lasts for several hours, more than enough time for the predator to finish off its prey. Ambulodracos are poor fliers among gubernators, and only fly when hard pressed by predation by ground-dwelling competitors. Ironically, flying from ground based enemies puts the relatively small ambulodraco at risk of attack by their much larger and more volant relatives.
- Great gubernator, Gorgonopteryx pernimius – This giant flying squamate is the largest flying land based species of gubernator, with a maximum wingspan of 11 metres, rivalling even the mightiest of pterosaurs. While lacking talons on their feet, great gubernators have a large claw on their hand, and have a huge head with powerful teeth and jaws, able to tackle anything smaller than they are. Most prey consists of herbivores like scutosquamas, but given the chance, they will hunt other predators. Ambulodraco in particular are likely to fall victim to these aerial tyrants, as the flying defence employed by young ambulodraco is ineffective.
- Rock Toad, Geobufo terrestrius -- This strange amphibian has tough leathery skin to hold in moisture, and spends much of its time in a torpor-like hibernation. When full of water, this animal can weigh up to a whopping 5 kg.
- Coyotoid, Serocyon classis – The largest living Borealian mammal is the Mongolian coyotoid, a distant descendant of modern mustelids, and an important nocturnal predator, taking over from saber drakes and wyrms in the chilling night time of the desert. Coyotoids are able to hunt prey larger than themselves by hunting in packs, and by using the fearlessness inherited from their ancestors, even the normally formidable saberdrakes can fall victim to a pack of coyotoids at night. The modern honey badger has the closest thing in terms of body plan to the coyotoid. Despite this nocturnal dominance, coyotoids are steadily being forced north by rising temperatures, with the continent of North America, now centered over the North Pole, and the high altitude Mediterranean/Indo-Australian mountains being the mammalian stronghold of Borealia. Still, the mammalian diversity of Borealia is trivial compared to South America, which mammals have retained their dominance on.
- Raateh, Endurattus vulgaris – The raateh is the common name of a successful genus of derived muroid rodent, widely distributed throughout northern Borealia. This species is notable for its lack of a tail, but is otherwise very similar to its relatives elsewhere, and to modern Holocene muroids.
- Hyraka, Ovisodon oreosis - Like the raateh, the hyraka is a successful mammal found throughout Eurasia, although it is a hyracoid rather than a rodent. Named for its sheep-like teeth, the Hyraka is well adapted to consuming the hardy plants, roots and tubers found throughout the northern steppes and deserts. Also like the raateh, the hyraka is an important prey animal, being fed on by coyotoids, horror birds, gubernators, and even saberdrakes and wyrms occasionally.
- Horror birds, family Tromouidae – This family of hawk-like birds are distant descendants of shrikes. They get their name due to how they catch their prey. They catch smaller prey by snatching them with their talons and swallowing them whole like a modern-day bird of prey, while they hunt larger prey by impaling them on any available sharp point, similar to their ancestors. There are dozens of species of horror birds found all over Borealia. Smaller animals that horror birds hunt includes raatehs, other small mammals, reptiles and fish; while larger prey consists of mostly smaller scutosquamas.
North African WoodlandsEdit
North Africa today is a desert, but this is only a recent event; as recently as 5000 years ago it was savanna, and will likely be in the not so distant future. Now, 50 million years in the future, it has ultimately returned to this state. Unlike the Holocene savannas, there are no lions, elephants, hyenas or hoofed mammals. Instead, as with Eurasia, much of the fauna is largely reptile based. The herbivores are still largely composed of the adaptable Scutosquamas, but other herbivores also call this place home, including the numerous Sprinters, small, deer-like grazers found throughout the plains, and not all are reptiles. Hunting them are two of the largest land predators since the age of the dinosaurs.
- African scutosquama, Scutosquama africana – The African scutosquama is a large herbivore found throughout Africa, but most commonly around the base of the Mediterranean mountains. Their form, like most scutosquamas, is similar to that of Scutosaurus. One distinguishing feature is the heavy armour they possess on their tail, using it to swing at predators.
- Common sprinter, Elaphosaura targeri - This is a basal Osteodont, and the most numerous reptile on the African plains. They are much smaller than the Scutosquama giants they share the plains with, growing up to 1.8 meters (6 feet) long, and weighing in at 90 kgs (200 lbs). However, despite their small size, they are fast and adaptable, being able to run at speeds of 70 mph, and can easily outrun slower predators. They also waste very little water, an adaptation built for surviving long periods of drought, meaning Sprinters can live in harsher climates than other herbivores, like scrublands of desert. They are very social creatures, living in herds of up to 50 members, led by an alpha male and female pair. All members share a part in the herd; other males work as sentries and guards, warning the herd of danger, while females watch over the hatchlings, acting as nannies while the mother is out grazing. Males and females are very different in build; male have large horns used for display, fighting or defense, while females have small horns that have relatively no use.
- Greater zilla, Godzillasaurus gigas – This predator is a theriosaur, like the saberdrakes, but they are bipedal. Of the over 8 species of godzillasaurs are known, this species is the largest, and can be over 10 metres long, and three metres high. Despite being bipedal, godzillasaurs have shorter hind legs than theropods, and stand more upright, with their tail dragging on the ground slightly. In order to be more active, they have a better heat retention system, they are functionally endothermic, but also two sails on their back, and another on their tail. The sails have the appearance of plates, hence the name for the animals. Despite this, not all godzillasaurs possess sails, and some are small forest predators.
- Running viper, Dromosophis sicarius - A rather average-sized reptile of 3.13 meters (10.3 feet) and 166 kilograms (366 lbs), this Maurosodontid is named for being able to reach speeds of 40 mph, much faster than most other predators in the grasslands. Their limbs are considerably slimmer and longer than other Maurosodontid species, which allow them to move at higher speeds. These creatures are well adapted to be opportunistic predators; an elongated snout to pick out prey in burrows or to dig through carrion, and a set of curved, grooved teeth that deliver venom at high efficiency, as well as large eyes that mostly face forward, so it has high focus in both day and night. Despite their adaptability, they are still preyed on by larger predators, such as godzillasaurs and titan wyrms, which means they need a defense system; they live in packs of up to 12 individuals and their young, which have a strict matriarchal hierarchy. They have a hierarchy similar to hyenas; even the lowest ranking female is higher than the highest ranking female. Females show their dominance through their greater size, as well as with an ability to flush color into their red underbellies, something that only females have just for display.
- Titan wyrm, Megasophis africana - The titan wyrm is the largest Maurosodontid of its time. This species can grow up to 8.8 meters (29 feet) long and weigh in at 1,000 kilograms (2,200 lbs), making it an apex predator. Because of its size, it is much slower than its smaller relatives are, but also much more powerful. Titan wyrms feed on weak, sick, old, or injured animals, in which they strangle with a crushing force of 1,990 lbs psi. Like other closely-related species, the titan wyrm can dismember prey, as well as shear off flesh to leave the victim to collapse of blood loss. Males and females differ in both physical and behavioral ways; males have red, more prominent lacrimal bones above their eye orbits, while females have smaller lacrimal bones that lack the red hue, and are rather black. Females are also more ferocious hunters, while males often scavenge the kills of other predators.
- Saharan Alligator, Gyrinosuchus potamus - Despite its name, the saharan alligator is an amphibian that evolved from modern day salamanders. Of the five species of Gyrinosuchus, the saharan species is the largest, growing up to lengths of 2.5 meters (8 feet) long, and weighing up to 50 kgs (110.2 lbs). Like its crocodilian namesake, this is a semi-aquatic predator, adapted to ambush prey near a riverbank or the shore of a lake. Even though they are still amphibians, the saharan alligator has a characteristic that is identified with reptiles rather than amphibians; they have thick, resilient skin that can conserve water during dry seasons, allowing them to be active throughout the year.
- Assassin bird, Sicarionychus major - Standing at about 1.7 meters (5' 9") tall and weighing up to 29 kgs (64 lbs), the assassin bird is a common predator of the grasslands, descended from modern day secretary birds. Convergent with the extinct phorusrhacids, assassin birds are completely flightless, and have a characteristically large head with a sharp beak, designed to cut through the flesh of prey. Assassin birds are generalist predators that hunt in pairs and small familial groups, hunting small animals such as raatehs, bush bilbies, and juvenile godzillasaurs, although they can also hunt down larger prey, such as sprinters. There is distinct sexual dimorphism, with males having a rust-red colored head and neck and a golden brown body, while females have a duller, more mottled coloration.
- African raateh, Endurattus africanus - A relative of the raateh, this animal has a longer tail and bigger hind feet, and is more adapted to hopping, similar to a jerboa.
- Bush bilby, Leptoscelis silvestris - Even better adapted to hopping than the raateh, the bush bilby resembles basal eutherian mammals, such as Leptictidium, but they are in fact marsupials, as their name implies. Descended from modern day bilbies, who were some of the first marsupials to reach Africa after the formation of Borealia, bush bilbies fill the niche of extinct elephant shrews, feeding on insects, lizards and smaller mammals found throughout the grasslands.
- Striped bear-dog, Dasyura saharicus - Despite its name, the striped bear-dog isn't closely related to carnivorans such as bears or dogs, but is also a marsupial, descended from quolls. About the size of a caracal, the striped bear-dog is a versatile predator, being able to hunt raatehs and bush bilbies, and can sometimes even hunt the infants of large reptiles such as scutosquamas or greater zillas.
North American ForestEdit
Seventy million years from now, much of western North America has become wet temperate forest, butressed against the growing mountains behind it. Powerful winds from the closing Pacific Ocean fuel the forest every day. Here strange creatures roam around this forest swinging along the trees, or crawling along the forest floor. This environment is very similar to the forest of the American northwest but warmer than most forests in North America. . The smaller cousins to the gubernators swing along the tree tops instead of flying, while saberdrakes hunt on the forest floor catching anything in sight. However, the largest predators here aren't reptiles, but birds; giant birds of prey make their home in the canopy, looking for prey that's either in the trees or on the forest floor to swoop down upon.
- Tree gubernator, Varanornisaurus micros - The smallest member of the Gubernatoroidea. It's the size of a pet cat. Unlike its cousins they are adapted for the swinging and gliding across the forest canopy, and are poor fliers. They are the most common predator in the forest. Like all gubernatoroidea, this animal has venom, and following the 'rule' that smaller genera have stronger venom, this creature has very strong venom, and is actually an apex arboreal predator. Still, this animal avoids adult tree snappers.
- Forest saberdrake, Theriosaurus sylvestris - This species of saberdrake is 'smaller' than its Eurasian cousin. What's most unique about this creature is its large claws, which can be up to 10 cm long and are used for hunting, and sometimes fo clear vegetation from their path, but mostly for show. They also have dark green skin so they can blend in with the forest suroundings. They are more reliant on stealth than most saberdrakes since they weigh only 140 kg.
- River striker, Telmatophis fragilialis - The River striker is a species of Maurosodontid that makes its home in the forest of North America, particularly in close proximity of water such as rivers, hence their name. These reptiles can grow up to 5 meters (16 ft 5 in), making them the largest predators found in the rivers of the North American Forests, meaning that they have very little competition in their aquatic habitat. Compared to their terrestrial relatives, River strikers are much better adapted for life in water than on land; they have paddle-like tails for steering through the currents, as well as a more streamlined appearance for less drag. They have even developed something that very few, if any, reptiles have developed before; electroreception. Like sharks, these aquatic hunters have extremely sensitive electroreceptors in their faces that are used to detect potential prey moving about in the water, so that they can close in on them and subdue them with paralyzing toxins, leaving the prey easier to consume. Despite their supremacy in the water, they are vulnerable on land to larger predators, such as Saberdrakes. To combat this, they are social reptiles, living in groups go up to 20 strong. This ensures that they are protected from larger carnivores, as well as having an easier time hunting for prey.
- Boreal tree snapper, Arboreptans polaris - Tree snappers are a group of tree adapted theriosaurs found all over Borealia, and most species are rather small, about the size of a cat. The Boreal tree snapper of North America is the largest species, being up to 2 meters long, and able to look a person in the eye when standing. Most tree snappers look somewhat like chameleons, but with longer necks and tails, but the boreal tree snapper, and it's Eurasian relative the mountain snapper, both look more similar to old featherless restorations of theropod dinosaurs. Tree snappers have flexible limbs, and relatively long necks, and a long, but not prehensile, tail used for balance. Because of their habitat being relatively close to the North Pole, which is dark for most of the year, Boreal tree snappers have large forward oriented eyes, which somewhat resemble those of modern owls.
- Mist raven, Corvuraptor horridus - With the extinction of many known birds of prey, such as Accipitriformes, and the growing decline of gubernators for competition, other birds are allowed to evolve into massive predators. One group of birds that adapted are the ravens; the largest members of the Passeriformes, and some of the most intelligent animals in the present. One example of the Corvids' success is the mist raven; a descendant of the common raven that has grown to the size of an eagle. Even more intelligent than their ancestors, mist ravens can develop detailed solutions to problems and unique methods to finding prey, as well as using their predatory adaptations to hunt. As such, these are the apex predators of the North American forests, hunting tree gubernators, tree snappers, and even saberdrakes and river strikers.
- Bijtendevogel, Rhamphodraco gigantaeus - A flightless, Dodo-like bird that's common throughout the North American forests. Reaching up to 26 kgs (57 lbs) in weight and 105 centimeters (3.4 ft) in length, the bijtendevogel is comparable in size to a dwarf cassowary, and looks like the dodo, but is actually a distant descendant of anseriformes, particularly members of the genus Branta. Although the bijtendevogel is a herbivore, foraging for vegetation on the forest floor, it is far from defenseless; it has a sharp beak that can be used to deal a lethal blow to a predator, and even has developed a similar nail to the cassowary, which is an even more lethal weapon than its beak. Bijtendevogels live in small familial groups consisting of a mated pair and their offspring, which they care for around 2-3 years.
- Forest shrew, Dryomusa macrotarsus - A shrew-like marsupial, descended from Didelphids, about the size of a house cat. It roams around the forest floor, and as such has lost some adaptations its ancestors had for climbing trees, such as their opposable first toes. It spends most of its time searching for eggs during the night time, but it's also somewhat active in the early daylight hours, when most of the larger predators are still inactive, where it feeds on smaller animals such as invertebrates, amphibians and lizards.
- Beetle bilby, Leptoscelis boisei - Another foraging marsupial, the beetle bilby is a closely related, somewhat larger relative of the bush bilby. The beetle bilby, like the forest shrew, spends most of its time searching for food on the forest floor, feeding on lizards, invertebrates, amphibians, and even saberdrake hatchlings. They have a thicker coat than their african relatives, due to the close proximity of their habitat to the north pole, which often leads to long periods of cold weather. Beetle bilbies also have the ability to hibernate during the coldest months, just as some modern-day rodents do, so that they can survive the harsh winter until spring.
Please put creature ideas here if you are not part of the team (Cryptile, Marcello, KaptainWombat).