During the Aureacene, North America has a mostly sub-tropical environment. On the coast, flooding created a mix of swamps and deciduous forest which spread all across the Northern half of the continent. In the American Midwest, grasslands spread across the area, transforming the many deserts of the region into plains covered in tall grass and low-lying plants. In the South, tropical rainforests reach up from Central America and cover the majority of Mexico and the Southern United States. The fauna here have evolved to fill grazing and browsing niches left behind by wild ungulates and livestock that have become extinct.
Coastal Swamp Forests Edit
Along North America's coastline, flooding has created swamp forests and estuaries that have merged with the deciduous forests of the present day. The forests here greatly resemble present day mangrove forests of the Southern United States. The wildlife here have evolved to live in a mostly aquatic environment, with several mammal species in an arms race to replace the niches left behind by cetaceans and pinnipeds.
- Common Myocetus - A large (3 meter long) fully aquatic descendant of the nutria that has evolved to fill the niche left behind by manatees. The common myocetus is the most common and widespread species, and can be found all along North America's East coast. This species has grey, seal-like hair and a short face. These rodents propel themselves with flippers and a paddle-like tail, and they also graze on aquatic plants like seaweed.
- Stilt-Legged Sorico - A small (1.5 meter long) browsing relative of the deciduous soricos. The stilt-legged sorico has long, moose-like legs that allow these creatures to wade in shallow water in order to find food. Unlike deciduous soricos, these creatures are omnivorous and feed on insects, small animals, and aquatic plants. Stilt-legged soricos have a coloration similar to that of a baby deer, and have a long tapir-like snout.
- Spotted Tree Weasel - Also known as the common tree weasel, these creatures are small (60 cm long) arboreal descendants of the long-tailed weasel. Weasels on the coast have evolved to become completely arboreal in order to escape the rising flood water. These creatures are omnivorous, eating both fruit and small animals like callitrats.
- Black-Backed Callitrat - A small (45 cm tall) monkey-like descendant of the gray squirrel. These creatures are part of a large family of arboreal rodents called 'Monkey Rats" that have evolved convergently to small New World monkeys. Callitrats are squirrels that have evolved similar behavior to marmosets and other small monkeys. These creatures are mostly herbivores and live in family groups of up to 6 individuals. The black-backed subspecies has a black stripe running down its grey body and has kept the long bushy tail of its ancestors.
Reptiles and Amphibians Edit
- Wood Viper - A small (1 meter long) venomous snake descended from the modern day copperhead. This snake has become more of an ambush predator, evolving a more angular shape and a bark-like coloration in order to blend in to logs and trees. A wood viper can lie motionless for about 25 minutes, cautiously waiting for small callitrats, weasels, or other small animals to approach. This creature can easily subdue prey with it's potent venom, which can immobilize an animal up to two times its size.
Northern Deciduous Forests Edit
The deciduous forests of present day North America have rose yet again in the Aureacene, but are slightly warmer than present day forests. Fauna in this region have evolved to fill browsing and carnivorous niches left behind by deer, moose, and large carnivores like bears, wolves, and cougars. Plant life here act similarly to deciduous trees and plants of the modern day, with the trees losing their leaves for the winter.
- Canadian Sorico - A Canadian subspecies of sorico, which are dog-sized descendants of American short-tailed shrews. Soricos have evolved in order to fill the niche left behind by grazers like deer. The Canadian subspecies is the smallest (1 meter long) and is mostly dark brown in coloration. Like other sorico species, the Canadian sorico has a slender body structure with long legs that allow the creature to move effortlessly through the cluttered wilderness.
- Camel Boar - Also known as the giraffe boar, the camel boar is a species of large (2.1 meter tall, 1.5 meter long) feral pig that has evolved to fill the niche left behind by moose. Camel boar have evolved longer legs and a more extended neck, which allows it to browse on leaves and fruit that are untouched by other herbivores. Camel boars have a coloration similar to that of a wild piglet, which provides camouflage in the dark deciduous forests. These creatures have few predators and are known to be fiercely protective of their young.
- Greater Bearded Lion - A large (2.5 meter long) descendant of the Canadian lynx that has evolved similarly to African lions. While their ancestor rarely ever traveled in groups, bearded lions live and hunt in packs of up to 5 adult individuals. These beasts get their name from the furry ruff that greatly resembles a two-pointed beard. The coloration of these creatures vary from a silver-brown with black spots to a solid white depending on the population's location. Greater bearded lions are the second largest species of bearded lion, and are capable of hunting down prey much larger than itself.
The Pacific Plate has changed direction since the asteroid hit. The San Gabriel compression zone fractured, creating a new faultline spreading through Death Valley and the Great Basin desert. Within a few million years, California was practically a penisula.
- Rocky Vagus - A dog-sized (1 meter long) subspecies of the vagus descended from California ground squirrels which are adapted for survival on rocky ledges and cliffs. The rocky vagus has evolved long and thin legs for maneuvering steep cliffaces on the plateau. These creatures have a dusty coloration and are built similarly to mountain goats.
- Cactus Beast - Descended from the North American porcupine, the cactus beast is a cow sized herd animal native to the deserts of the plateau. While these creatures rarely consume cactuses, the cactus beast's overall appearance greatly resembles this desert plant. Male cactus beasts are about 2 meters tall at the shoulder and are greenish-brown in coloration, which helps these creatures blend in with tall grasses and cactuses in the plateau. Cactus beasts live in herds of up to 20 individuals and are known as the largest grazing mammals of California.
- Felid Fox - A puma sized (2 meter long) cat like descendant of the kit fox. Like the kit fox, the felid fox is mostly nocturnal and is known to be extremely territorial. This creature has evolved to fill the niche left behind by the mountain lion but has kept several features from its ancestor. Felid foxes have large bat-like ears, a short face, a muscular build and a coloration similar to that of the grey fox.
American Grasslands Edit
The once dry prairies and scrubland of the American Midwest are now lush grasslands covered in tall grasses and low-lying brush. During the Aureacene, the wildlife in this region have evolved to tremendous sizes to fill grazing niches left behind by bison and large livestock. Rodents and other small mammals have become the dominant creatures in this region.
- Rabbit-Eared Fox - A small (1 meter long) rabbit-eared descendant of the swift fox. This creature's ears are large and pointed similar to that of a Yorkshire terrier. These large ears help with heat distribution and also allow the rabbit-eared fox to hear its prey from a great distance. The rabbit-eared fox has kept the sandy color from it's ancestor in order to blend into the tall grasses of the grasslands.
- Highland Vagus - A descendant of the 13-lined ground squirrel, this creature is a dog-sized (121 cm long) grazer that has evolved to fill the niche left behind by livestock such as sheep. The highland species is the largest out of the 4 species that wander (vagus = wanderer in latin) the American grasslands, living in small herds of up to 18 individuals. The herds consist of a matriarch and a couple of breeding males followed by their offspring. The highland species also lost the need to burrow due to its constant movement and instead rely on their longer more toned legs, which are suitable for fleeing from quick predators. These creatures have kept the coloration of their ancestors and greatly resemble a slightly skinnier capybara.
- Marsupial Pig - A large (2 meter long) carnivorous descendant of the Virginia opossum. Unlike opossums in the forests, the marsupial pig has lost its ability to climb trees due to its large size. The marsupial pig is fully carnivorous, preying on small animals under the cover of night. During the day, these beasts remain dormant inside burrows or caves and attend to their young. These creatures greatly resemble their ancestors but have short, stocky legs.
Reptiles and Amphibians Edit
- American Blotched Dragon - The blotched dragon is a descendant of the gila monster and greatly resembles a species of monitor lizard. This species of blotched dragon has a similar coloration to its ancestor and is nearly triple its size (1.5 meter long). Like its ancestor, the American blotched dragon has kept its venomous saliva which allows theses creatures to bring down prey items much larger than itself. These creatures also have evolved slightly longer legs that allow the blotched dragons to chase down fast prey such as vagus.
Southern Rainforests Edit
Rainforests, swamp forests, and grasslands all converge along the Mexican border. Along with parts of the Southern United States, these forests cover the entirety of Mexico and are home to an assortment of unique and specialized creatures. The wildlife here are highly adapted to the rainforests here and many of these creatures have taken on arboreal niches.
- Mexican Night-Cat - A large (2 meter long) dark black descendant of the jaguarondi that has evolved to replace the niche left behind by the jaguar. The Mexican subspecies is the largest of the 3 species of night-cat and is also the most ravenous. The Mexican night-cat greatly resembles a black panther, and prey on large terrestrial creatures. These beasts reside in trees and are mostly solitary hunters, only pairing up during the mating season.
- Pygmy Jaguar - A small (1.5 meter long) jaguar-like descendant of the margay native to Mexico and parts of Central America. Margays have evolved to fill the niche left behind by solitary predators such as jaguars and have become more arboreal. Pygmy jaguars are solitary hunters that prey on animals larger than itself. Like jaguars, these creatures carry their immobilized prey into trees in order to keep them from larger predators.
- Spiny Camel Boar - Descended from the collared peccary, the spiny camel boar is the shortest (2 meters at the shoulder) species of camel boar. This species is definitely the most robust and stocky of camel boar, and is also known to be fiercely territorial. Herds of these creatures consist of nearly a dozen females and one bull, who protects the herd from rival bulls and large predators.
Reptiles and Amphibians Edit
- Quetzalcoatl - Also known as the Dirt Blotched Dragon, these creatures are large (2.5 meter long) crocodile-like descendants of the Mexican beaded lizard. Quetzalcoatls are closely related to the blotched dragons of the American Midwest and share a similar physique, but have shorter legs and a more slender body shape. Like their ancestor, quetzalcoatls have venomous saliva that can immobilize large prey items with not a lot of effort. These creatures are dark brown with mint-green blotches, and have an almost snake-like appearance due to its short yet extended body structure.