The Quadrartusidea, colloquially known as Quadartuses, are perhaps the strangest and most derived of the Trimalans, having overhauled their bodily morphology to adapt to a life of chewing Parenids and escaping predators. They are, as their latin name for "four limbed" suggests, quadrupedal rather than sextupedal; their front limbs have adapted into powerful graspers for reaching Parenid growths too high for the mouth, while their mid and hind limbs are strong and lithe, promoting a swift escape in the face of a predator (though this varies from species to species; some don't need to escape). Internally, their stomachs have powerful grinding surfaces to break down tough Parenid matter as well. They are the most prevalent terrestrial herbivores in Neoanimulian Animula.
|Time and Timescale measurement in Animula|
1. Animula has 328.5 days a year, and 21.6 hours a day, equating to 7095.6 hours a year, as opposed to 8760 hours a year on earth.
2. However, for simplicity, we will measure time based on earth years. Timescale is measured by the amount of years it happened in after the impact of Sagittaan Cluster, with the abbreviation "yai" (for years after impact) used after the number. Contrastingly, "ybi" refers to years before impact.
3. For instance, oceans were mostly fully formed at around 800 myai (million years after impact).
The ancestor of all modern Quadartuses evovled during the Mirumogene, near the end of the time when armored armaturideans ruled the earth. A fossil from around this time period of a minute woodland-dwelling armaturid, Messorus, had strong, sturdy digits for carrying weight on the mid-and-hind limbs, but the single digits on the forelimbs were long and feeble; awful for carrying weight. In addition, the bone connecting the forelimb to the underspine was tilted from a exponent symbol shape (^) to a greater-than symbol (>), most likely to support the forelimbs in a forward-facing position as opposed to facing to the ground.
Soon, a descendant of Messorus, Molerealvus, latin for grinding stomach, became the first proto-quadartus to possess convex keratinous surfaces in the stomach wall, a precursor to the grinding plates seen in modern Quadartuses. This feature and species seemed to have been the first truly successful Quadartusid, as fossils were found in a range of up to 1000 km.
The Quadartuses have completely adapted to a herbivorous life, and as such have correspondingly derived morphologies and features.
- Manipulative Forelimbs: As an assisting feature whilst foraging and obtaining Parenids, the forelimbs are no longer used for locomotion; instead, they are long and have a strong digit, and are used for manipulating the environment, for example by grasping for Parenid matter out of reach of the jaws. As a result, the mid and hind limbs are much more sturdy and powerful, minimizing any detriment from the repurposing of the Forelimbs.
- Grinding Plates in Stomach: As a way to break down and digest tough Parenid matter, the three stomachs of Quadartuses have two hard convex plates facing each other, occupying opposite sides of each stomach and connected by powerful muscles on their periphery; when Parenid matter enters a stomach, the muscles grind the plates together, mashing up the Parenid matter in between; therefore increasing surface area and absorption efficiency. This makes up for their relatively inefficient chewing ability.
Families (as of 4000 myai)Edit
Oligopecidae (Cockrids, Mitts)Edit
Veloxsilvestrids are the most basal Quadartuses, and as such live and act in a similar environment and behaviour as the first primitive Quadartuses: in forested environments, leading secretive lives. They are small and lithe, ranging in size from 30 centimetres to one metre; and have short, powerful legs supporting a similarly short and stout body, optimal for nimble movement through the undergrowth. They have very weak, short jaws and skulls, and subsist only on fleshy bulbs, unable to properly digest mats or Umbrellachute stems. There are about twenty one species; some species are adept climbers, with sharp gripping claws which allow them to "run" up Umbrellachutes, while some species are burrowers.
Cockrids and Mitts are easily distinguishable for the most part: Cockrids (genus Terrestripecus) are ground dwelling, with some burrowing species, whilst Mitts (genus Lignupecus) can climb Umbrellachutes and large Bulbushes and spend much of their time there, browsing on Umbrellas and Bulbs.
The Atilicaudae, collectively known as Fattails (which is incidentially also the english translation of Atilicaudae), are so named for having massive, thick "tails" which can constitute up to 50% of all the weight of the body, though . Most Atilicauds live in harsh, hostile environments where the hazards are plentiful and food is hard to come by, and as such, Atilicauds store a mixture of energy-full fat and water in their inflamed tails. Atilicauds also have very short legs and a short body compared to other Quadartusids, and are the only family known to enter a low-metabolic state in the face of famine to conserve energy and shut down nonvital body functions. Altilicauds diverged from the rest of the Quadartus line around the upper Mirumogene.
Veloxsilvestridae (Sprogs, Frings)Edit
Veloxsilvestridae, latin for swift beasts, are mostly gregarious, cursory herbivores. Adapted to life in open land, where hiding is impossible, the Veloxsilvestrids have taken one path to success in such a hostile environment: speed. They, and the predators who hunt them, are perhaps the fastest animals on Animula. Long, moscular legs connect to a powerful, flexible spine, which acts in an efficient tandem; stretching as the limbs fly forwards to gain ground; contracting and pulling as the grounded limbs powerfully push the ground behind them. Their jaws are long but powerful to rip mats out of the ground, and they possess the most efficient stomachs of all Trimalans, save perhaps those of the Nullamobestids. Most Veloxsilvestrids live in gregarious herds of various sizes, ranging from a few closely related individuals to hundreds of unrelated individuals in a massive herd, and possess a basic social system; they are known to defend unfit members of the herd from predators, such as old or sick individuals.
Sprogs and Frings are distinguished in these ways: Sprogs (constituting the genuses Mediocrisilvestris, large, solitary plains dwellers; Destringobestus, avid grazers travelling in massive herds; and Pascosilvestris, swift and versatile, travelling in smaller packs) are generally larger with longer legs, and have a row of spines along their backs for display; while Frings (constituting the genus Parvustringos, relatively short-legged versatile diminutive creatures found in both plains and light woodland) are smaller and lack the back spines.
Nullamobestidae (Massilotheres, Gomphonods)Edit
Similar to the Veloxsilvestrids, the Nullamobestids generally thrive in flatlands, where hiding is almost not an option. However, the Nullamobestids have evolved another way to surpass predation: by supersizing so much as to be nearly impossible to kill, or not without any injury: the smallest Nullamobestid alone is 1.5 metres in length, whilst the largest, Magnogomphos, would be up to 25 metres in length. A perfect example of brawn over brain, or in this case brawn over abdominal neural cluster, most Nullamobestids run nearly entirely on instinct, devoting their body's energy to lugging around a huge body and powering three massive grinding stomachs; though there are notable exceptions. Some massilotheres, for example, have the largest brains of all Trimalans, and exhibit relatively complex social behaviour.
The body of a Nullamobestid is barrel like and massive, with two pairs of semierect pillar-like limbs sprouting from the flanks. From the front of the body sprouts a relatively long, thick neck, ending in a huge, short head and jaws. The forelimbs are halfway between the midlimbs and the head, and vary from colorful, long and lithe graspers in Massilotheres with display purposes; to ossified clublike or hornlike weapons, often adorned with spikes, in various Gomphonods. The forelimbs in Massilotheres have wide flaps of skin, and when the forelimbs are extended the flaps are stretched and become suddenly visible, shocking competitors and predators. In many Gomphonods, the forelimbs are thick and powerful weapons to compete for dominance of territory or mating rights with other individuals, and may be adorned with keratinous spikes; in some species, the forelimbs are heavily ossified.
|Information||Taxonomy • Exoanimal Biology • Parenid Biology • History of Life|
|Primizoic Era||• Cascuinania||• Primiduritizoa|
|Vitazoic Era||• Primiinframolezoa|
|Neoanimalian Era||• Draconemaria (Class)|