This page is part of What if the Asteroid Missed?, a project run by member KaptainWombat
Eurasia is a continent of diversity, with many different animal groups co-existing.
Dinosaurs are, like on most other continents, dominant over other groups, at least in the herbivorous niches.
The largest animals of the continent are giant descendants of ceratopsians, the Magnacornibids, which have evolved shorter brow horns, a less prominent frill, longer legs, and a covering of long hair-like protofeathers. Magnacornibids first evolved in the Oligocene, but the first forms were small, tapir-like creatures of the Northern Hemisphere, but as the Profundosauridae went extinct in Eurasia, other groups took their place. Some of these were maniraptoriformes descended from Oviraptorosaurs, the Therizinavids, though these also eventually became restricted to North America. The other group, which evolved into the Magnacornibids, dominated the Miocene, but as the Pleistocene glaciations started, the group became restricted to the largest species. Hadrosaurs started taking up intermediate niches, but they remained relatively small. The five living species of Magnacornibids live in various climates, from the tropics of India and Sri Lanka, to the mountains of the Himalayas, to the half frozen tundra of Siberia, but all share the same body plan, a large head, powerful jaws for defence and crushing branches, long legs - a relic from their cursorial ancestry, and furry protofeathers of varying thickness.
- Cerathorn, Magnacornibus monstrosus.
- Imperial Wooly Cerathorn, Magnacornibus glacialis.
Ornithopods were formerly the dominant herbivores, but in the late Oligocene, the colossal Profundosaurs, today restricted to North America, went extinct in Eurasia. After this event, the ceratopsians, which had formerly occupied small to mid sized herbivore niches, started to radiate into big herbivore niches. As the ice ages started, the small ceratopsians went extinct across most of Eurasia. Smaller ornithopods, many descended from hadrosaurs, have since filled those niches, and form herds that migrate north in the summer, and south in the winter.
- Hadrocorn, Hadrocornis maluracundum.
- Swiss Hadrocorn, Hadrocornis montanus.
- Blunderbeast, Hadrocornis erroribus.
Theropods are the most common dinosaurs of Eurasia.
This group includes the North American Nyctodromeids, and the Eurasian Ultovenatorids. The largest Ultovenatorids are extinct, largely due to competition with the Serragnathid pterosaurs, but the family still hang on. The largest living species are still quite small, with none being larger than Deinonychus, compared to their tyrannosaur-like predecessors, and North American cousins.
Ultovenatorids are colectively known as tundratrackers, for their habits of wandering around their territories seemingly endlessly. Like their relatives in North America, these small predators will act co-operatively when hunting large prey, but show little indication of pack hunting on par with wolves, which they are closest to ecologically. Tundratrackers have been domesticated to some extent by Mantikrites, and are used for hunting, and also for a certain degree of protection from other animals.
- †Ultovenator novissimus
- Snowy Tundratracker, Ultovenator pumilius.
TyrannosauroideaEditTyrannosaurs are rare in Eurasia, but the last survivors of an otherwise extinct radiation of Eurasian Novotyrannids still hang on near the eastern edge of the Caspian Sea.
Oviraptorosaurs were on the brink of extinction in the early Cenozoic, but after the ETM wiped out many of the small herbivores, paricularily Therizinosaurs, the Oviraptorosaurs radiated into a number of different forms. This include the sapient of WitAM, the Mantikrite.
All modern oviraptorosaurs are classified into the Arctornithoidea, which is named after the type family, the Arctornithidae, which includes the Mantikrite, its closest relatives, bear analogues, and even hyena analogues. The other family is the Therizinavidae, which evolved into the niches of Therizinosaurs, but also lost their tail.
Mantikrite, Sophodromaeus ferox.
PterosaursEditMost places today are dominated by large predatory crocodylomorphs, theropods, or mammals, but the entire mountain range running from the Pyrenees to eastern China is the domain of the pterosaurs.
The Smaugoidea evolved out of the Azdharchidae sometime in the late Eocene or early Oligocene, but developed many of their modern characteristics in the Miocene. All early forms could fly, but as the climate started to cool, one group gave up flying to lead a predatory curatorial lifestyle.
These pterosaurs are true giants, some with heights of seven metres, but they do not fly. The cold temperatures where they live would be dangerous to a conventional pterosaur with exposed wings, so these predators have lost nearly all of their flight membranes. only a small membrane stretching from the wrist to the base of the hind leg remains. These pterosaurs are known as Serragnathids, literally translated to 'saw jaw'. Like their ancestors, the Azdharchidae, Serragnathids have a straight beak, but in order to function effectly as a flesh cutting weapon, the edge is coarsely serrated, similar to a saw. This design is found in most living Azdarchoidea, but the Serragnathids have the most efficient cutting blades of any pterosaur. Using these weapons, the pterosaurs can hunt the very largest of prey, not even the giant Magnacornibids are safe. In the (very) limited knowledge we have on the 'language' spoken by Mantikrites, Serragnathids are known as *Charkasil, which apparently translates in English as 'tall saw sprinter'.
*If this actually means something somewhere in real life, it is coincidence.
The Serragnathids are not the only pterosaurs with these adaptations, their more volant relatives, the Smaugids, also have a serrated beak. These dragon-like predators are found in Europe, the Himalayas, and also in the plains of Siberia, where they coexist with the terrestrial predators by being able to fly.
Mammals of the Cretaceous were predominantly small, but after the ETM, mammals started to radiate, and the first predatory mammals larger than a dog evolved, in the ice ages, when large predatory dinosaurs suffered a major drop in diversity, particularly in Eurasia and Africa, these predatory mammals partly took over that role.
These predators were Cimolestans, a group which in home earth radiated in the early Cenozoic, before going extinct. The Wargids are closest to big cats ecologically and size wise, but they show little resemblance. Much like entelodonts and other extinct predatory ungulates, Wargids don't use their limbs to attack prey, rather they have almost flat claws, though still not hooves. They use their mouths and massive jaws to kill prey, and their long legs help them run it to exhaustion.. Though the family are the last terrestrial members of their order, they are diverse, ranging from the small, fox-like Vulpid of India and Asia Minor, to the hyaeodont-like Arctic Wargus, a somewhat sabertoothed, powerful, apex predator. These animals are usually solitary or loosely associated with related individuals, but to bring down larger prey than themselves they will hunt in larger groups.
- Arctic Wargus, Wargus phobos.
- Spotted Wargus, Wargus indicus.
- Vulpid, Vulpidus velox.
The Euungulata (often called Condylartha), the hoofed mammals, are also presant in this timeline, though none of the modern home earth groups evolved. There is one clade, the Carnungulata, which are named because most genera are predators, convergently similar to Mesonychids, though one family, the Montanovidae, are herbivores similar to goats. Most genera have claws, but some of the herbivores of Europe have true hooves. The largest species is the aptly named Hellbear, an omnivorous giant the size of a grizzly, but able to run faster for longer due to the clades unique spring-like ankle bones, found in species from both timelines.
- Hellbear, Alloursus barbaricus.
- Sheepish, Montanovis familiaris
Metatherians compose a minor part of the fauna, mostly as the badger, or hedgehog-like Thylamelids, or 'possumbadgers'. These adaptable creatures live in most of the northern hemisphere.
- Possumbadgers, Thylamelidae sp.