Welcome to Traditional Evolution Game, part 5.5! In this thread, we will take a look at the ecosystem of Infecturran. The rules of the game are as follows:1. Find a creature that is still alive3. Paste the creature in a pixel editor program like MSPaint4. Make a noticeable mutation for them that makes sense and is not too major5. Add necessary format either in description or within its picture, please follow format shown below this post for this5. Post evo here, with a description of what changedNow, for do's/don'tsDO post no matter how shitty your art is! WE NEED YOU! It's not that hard to edit in paint, just do your best!DO try to use the pencil tool instead of brushes, as it will make it easier to edit linework and recolourDON'T mutate the same creature over twice in a row! There'll be plenty of family lines in need of love.DON'T overdo mutations. A creature doesn't suddenly grow legs, intellect and fire-breathing.DON’T forget the format, otherwise people won’t know where your creature is from or what it eats etc.DON’T forget to link back to creature you have evolved when postingDON’T forget to have fun, and don’t forget to post, more players and less lurkers is what will keep this aliveAgain, without further ado, let us begin!
>>3264611Due to the combined influence of slight shifts in orbit trajectory and cryogenic gases being released into the atmosphere by Nolor species, the planet enters a second ice age. It's inhabitants will need to adapt quickly in order to survive.
>>3264615While the event was worldwide, in this thread we will focus solely on the continent Infecturran and it's inhabitants.The continent is composed of the following areas:Northern Field: Flat region, encased entirely in ice. Life is somewhat difficult here.Avg Temp -20°C(4°C highest, -40 lowest)Weather: snowstorms every now and then, windyEastern Field: Historically the home of the majority of Gas Nolor on the central continent, it is rich in minerals.Avg Temp 11°C(20°C highest, -3°C lowest), 50°C in forests of Gas NolorWeather: rain and snowfallBogs: A wet, murky region, dominated by a large, central lake.Avg Temp 9°C(18°C highest, 3°C lowest)Weather: rain and snowfallMountains: A mountain range separates Infecturran from the adjacent Tetrapetram, preventing travel between the regions to all but the most hardy of creatures.Avg Temp -2°C(9°C highest, -20°C lowest)Weather: wind and snowfallWestern Field: A coastal region, with a multitude of rivers coursing through it.Avg Temp 10°C(19°C highest, -3°C lowest)Weather: rain and snowfall*****CREATURES THAT INHABIT THE CONTINENT: https://imgur.com/a/DXasJWJThose marked with "E" are endangered species, with the reason for their endangerment being written below the "E", and will soon go extinct, leaving their niches empty and likely collapsing the ecosystem if a replacement creature for that niche doesn't appear in time.
>>3264630CREATURES THAT INHABIT THE CONTINENT: https://imgur.com/a/DXasJWJThose marked with "E" in the imgur gallery are endangered species, with the reason for their endangerment being written below the "E", and will soon go extinct, leaving their niches empty and likely collapsing the ecosystem if a replacement creature for that niche doesn't appear in time.The attached image displays the spread of species across the region.
During the winter, the Ambush Pumbahoffe goes to deeper waters, where it is warmer, and burrows down into the mud to hibernate. Recent mutations that have spread among the gene pool allow them to absorb a small amount of oxygen through their skin from the water. With fat built up from hunting during the warmer months, combined with a slowed heartbeat and metabolism, they can spend days at the bottom of the water before needing to come up for air.
Taller BeyBlue Berries are able to stay above the water when flooded, and thus are able to spread their genes more easily. The average plant grows greatly in height.
The increasingly cold temperatures put the NeedleHead Eel population at extreme risk of extinction. Their solution was to develop a "Corkscrew" needle, which allows them to burrow their heads inside their host for long periods of time, keeping themselves warm as they are less exposed to the cold waters.
The Armed Baron develop a way of staying warm during freezing temperatures. By secreting a sebum-like substance called Baroneum, or Baron Oil, from beneath their scales, they are able to insulate their bodies. This greasy product is synthetized in specialized organs found on their abdomens —more specifically one between each pair of talons— and covers most of the Baron's body surface, which is then further insulated by the mud the animal is known for covering itself with.
The Inuit Ashgrove have adapted to cold in a rather unusual way:During the colder seasons, the tree prevents root frost damage by removing water from it's foliage, "bloating" the leaves as they become filled with numerous air pockets. As they naturally fall off, the hollowed veins become filled with water, which anchors them on top of the plant's root system once it freezes. The air pockets however, prevent the rest of the plant tissue in the leaves from freezing, which turns them into an excellent insulating material.Soon enough, a large layer of dead folliage forms around the Inuit Ashgrove roots. This forms an Igloo-like structure that protects the tree from the cold, an creates a safe space for animals to hibernate in.
>>3266516>>3266302>>3264890>>3264915Cool ideas, but part of the rules is that you have to actually change the species physically to go with the behavior, otherwise there is no quick way to tell how stuff evolves
The Zemele-shroom grows a longer stem and small protrusions on its roots so it is less likely to get torn or drift away when disturbed. It is now classified as the Shroom'ele
>>3266525Woops, here a quick retcon so the changes are more visible
>>3266525I know visual evolutions are more fun, but a lot of the most important shifts in evolution were in behavior, not appearance. Also I did change the Beyblue picture, I made it taller
>>3264635The zemle coral, facing extinction by freezing, is pressuring into adopting a radically different lifestyle. Instead of its seeds dropping off from their host and growing on the seafloor, they now become parasitic, burrowing their roots into the victim. Once their roots pierce veins within the animal, they begin to draw blood from it for their own sustenance. This new approach also allows them to steal heat.This new species, the zemletter, leaves the lake environment and enters the ocean, becoming exclusively parasitic on caverncrabs. Breeding is the perfect time for seeds to be transferred from one host to another. Parasitism by the zemletter often proves to be eventually fatal, either directly or by weakening the animal, making it more vulnerable to predators.
>>3264635Another species of zemle coral takes up a strategy in some ways similar to the previous. It too migrates to the oceans and begins using the caverncrab -- but in a different way. The mucus surrounding its seeds now contains a drug, let's call it "migratine", that infuses through the crab's skin into its bloodstream. This drug compels the caverncrab to swim continually in a straight line.A significant percentage of the time, the direction of the caverncrab's journey is south -- to warmer water. When the water is warm enough, the seeds drop off the crab in a more hospitable location.
>>3264635The jet cynomorph adapts to the threat of freezing in three ways. It becomes much larger, growing from an average size of 8cm to one of 30cm, reducing its surface area to mass ratio. Its head of leaves increases, extending downwards to cover more of the trunk, insulating it. Lastly, the trunk itself grows many tiny leaves, which act as an integument to trap heat.
>>3264635In an Infecturran lake where both the zemle coral and the jet cynomorph are common, the two form a symbiosis. The coral is protected from herbivores, which are dissuaded from investigating by the meaty scent emitted by the cynomorph, allowing it maintain leaf growth without being harmed by grazing. In return, it supplies energy to the cynomorph via an underground connection.
>>3264635Struggling to cope with frigid lakewater, a population of zemle coral heads down a path of maximising its mass relative to surface area in an attempt to better retain heat. These zemle reduce themselves to simple cubes, photosynthesising on their faces and supplied with nutrients by a root system. Sexual reproduction and seeds are discarded in favour of asexual budding from underground roots, with the consequence that zemlecubes are usually found in large swathes.
>>3266533The shroom'ele develops a water-filled chamber on top of its crown. Filtered water passes into this chamber, where particulates are allowed to decompose a little with the help of some friendly bacteria. The shroom'ele is thus able to extract more energy from its food, allowing it to grow to 40cm. This larger size also helps it cope with the colder climate.
>>3264635The nolluran adapts to the chilling climate by developing a very thick layer of sap between inner and outer layers of bark. The sap is solid-ish, like set honey. To gain a more favourable mass to surface area ratio, it halves in height but, when the sap layer is taken into account, actually becomes wider.
The colder temperatures have forced the Stilters to develop a layer of thick fat to keep warm. Additonally, the Male and Female Stilters now have multiple skin flaps that further insulate them from the cold. Egg Carriers lack this adaptation due to the herd organization present in their society, since they're often in the center of the traveling herds, theres no need for them to have these "natural blankets".
The Longhorn Protomion, due to the lack of Zemeleaf in Infracturran, has to search for new food sources. Thankfully, the Sweet Nolluran's hyper caloric sap is more than enough to fill their stomach. The Sweetooth Longhorn develops a sturdier cranial structure and thicker horns used to ram against the Tree's bark and scrape off its sap. They also develop stronger hind legs to aid in this process. Big enough Sweetooth are able to knock down smallen Nolluran trees into the ground.
Although the Damming Cochleacrab's pearl huts are warm enough to protect the insides of the animal's eggs from freezing during the colder months, the same can't be said for the adults of the species. Orphaned Cochleacrab juveniles have a hard time surviving, with only a few of them surviving per egg clutch. This has forced the mature Cochleacrabs to adapt to this new freezing enviroment.First of all, they begin incorporating dead plant matter into their dams, reinforcing the mud walls with dead folliage in order to further insulate them from the freezing temperatures. However, this isn't always effective, so they go an extra step to ensure they make it through the winter; they freeze themselves. A complex process involving the gradual slowing down of their metabolism until they're technically dead allows the animal to withstand being frozen without *actually* dying. Once the temperatures are warm enough to thaw the ice, the Cochleacrab quickly resumes its metabolic activity, heating up as quickly as possible to prevent any permanent damage.
The Protomion switches over to a diet of roots and sap, causing shorter horn growths that it uses to pull out stubborn bulbs. To combat breathing in the boggy water it evolved closeable nostrils and a longer neck, so it can wade without fear of drowning.
The Bark Glurads have to quickly adapt to the new temperatures in order to fend off extinction, they abandon their nomadic lifestyle and begin forming colonies once again. However, stone and dirt in Infecturran are far too cold to sustain miniature life, forcing them to improvise and find a new habitat and niche to fill.Thankfully, the large amounts of Sweet Nolluran debris created by the Longhorns not only were an ideal source of food and shelter, they were also unexploited.The worker Glurads undergo a series of physical changes ascociated with their new lifestyle. Their mandibles become stronger in order to bite off the tree bark, their second and fourth pair of legs become considerably shorter, hindering their ability to glide but granting them much more maneuverability and dextrerity. The most important change however, is the development of a specialized gland in their digestive system that lets them process tree bark and sap into an insulating construction material which they use to build and reinforce their colonies. This material is excreted through a tail looking protusion which ends in the animal's anus.
Phloomps --being easy prey for any creature-- evolved a way to be more maneuverable by utilizing their large filtering "fins" and "arms". This allows them to travel and hide effectively in the murky water of Infecturran's bogs, as well as give them more food options.
>>3264635One population of cynomorphs is pressured by the falling water temperature to reduce its extremities. It loses all its side vents and becomes larger and bulkier, better retaining heat. The topmost vent is repurposed into a "cannon" that fires a single large seed very quickly when damage is sensed, hopefully striking the herbivore feasting on its leaves and driving it away. It also uses this cannon and seed for reproduction, restricting it to rivers as it relies on the current to transport the seed.
>>3264635A new species of zemleleaf emerges with a fast-paced life cycle. It grows quickly in spring and summer, becoming around twice the height of its predecessor species, releases its seeds to the wind and then dies. The seeds remain dormant until spring, allowing the zemleleaf to avoid the cold winter.
>>3270113I forgot to update the seeds in the profile view, also I altered them a little. This image is the right one for the described evolution.
>>3264635>>3266533Some rockcrabs begin to farm a large amount of shroom'ele compared to other plants. The shroom'ele flourished, the movement of the rockcrab across the silty lake floor tossing up sediment full of microscopic plant matter -- food for the shroom'ele. This relationship developed into a symbiosis; the rockcrab churns the lake sediment with a (now longer) arm, no longer used for walking; and the shroom'ele extracts the bountiful nutrients, helped by a more toadstool-like form that keeps the water in for longer.
>>3264635Some of the Sappy Ashbowls found in areas recently flooded by the rivers have found ways to survive. The bowls float on top of the water, sap covered trunks serve only to connect the bowls to the root system. This sap also serves to protect the plant from the cold. These new plants are called Soggy Ashbowls
The Lungbug, ignored by time, has evolved several small changes to survive new environmental pressure, the first of which is large "armies" of mature individuals that roam across the western fields of Infecturran.The second most notable is the shift in their skull, giving them a wider field of view and stronger jaws, accompanied by a longer tail for faster swimming.This new creature is called the Lungwyrm
>>3264915The Eastern Feild BeyBlue Berries grow taller, a genetic hiccup causing the trunk to split. To help survive the extremely cold winter the root bulbs grow deeper offshoots to store precious nutrients in colder and darker seasons
Some Plate Caverncrabs escape the predators of the open sea by migrating into the lake and rivers, filled with Shrooms of all sorts, and has yet to have a major predator in the water. This off branch of the Caverncrabs have appendages of increased size and strength, serving as proper fins, making it easier to travel against the current of the river. This new species is called the Plate Rivercrabs.
Rockcrabs begin using the Inuit Ashgrove's leafpiles as shelter during the colder months, using them as nests and camouflage, and change their colouration to blend in with the tree's roots. The lack of light inside of these however, means that they can no longer grow algae on their backs, forcing them to prey con the Aquatic Zemeles, and have been observed to sometimes prey on Cynomorphs, hinting that they might have a slight inmunity against their spores.
>>3271833Plate Rivercrabs develop longer pectoral arms, using them as large paddles to both swim and hit other species.
>>3271833Whilst one species of plate rivercrab modifies its flippers for swimming and defence, another instead optimises them for grabbing rockcrabs. After grabbing the rockcrab, the rivergrab feeds on the shrooms that grow on the crabs back.
>>3272067Some ashcrabs specialise in feeding on cynomorphs, capitalising on their small immunity to the irritating spores. These ashcrabs eventually evolve their middle pair of legs into longer, more dextrous arms with hooked ends. They use these to scrape off the cynomorph spores, as well as for defence.
>>3264635In the Western Field, herbivorous farcesaurs are placed under pressure with the threat of freezing in the rapidly chilling climate. Natural selection favours a larger, bulkier animal with correspondingly better heat retention, but this requires a greater food intake. So it happens that as the farcesaur species gradually grows from 19cm to 1m, its diet becomes more comprehensive: it now includes zemleleaf in its diet. It rips apart the plant with its tongue-hand things, which are now more powerful, and chews it with a set of (blunter) teeth.
It has been 50 million years since the beginning of the Ice Age, and while there were some minor extinctions, most life on Infecturran has managed to adapt, and some species even flourished. Nevertheless, some are still struggling:>The Citra Gleak population is declining, now that it's preferred food, Purpehotes and Glurads, have went extinct;>The BIG JUMBO FARCESAUR and Longhorn protomions of the western field are locked in a struggle over a limited supply of Zemleleaf;
>>3273968Sorry, forgot to put my name tag on.
The Citra Gleak, after being forced to reduce its diet to Wormbugs and Lungwyrms, experiences a significant reduction in size and length. During colder seasons, it migrates from the Eastern Fields to the Western fields.
The Dirtbug is a Wormbug descendant that has become blind from staying underground for too long in silty soil too long. It's feeling filaments become thinner and much more precise.
>>3273968With a growing scarcity of Zemleleaf, the Longhorn Protomions have become desperate. When a herd of Longhorns see a Farcesaur feeding on Zemleleaf, they charge at it, goring the creatures with their horns and kicking them with their hind legs. Their toes have become hardened over with a layer of calcium, giving their kicks that much extra damage. Once the Farcesaur is dead they eat the zemleleaf themselves, and leave the body for scavengers.
>>3273562The Alkali Crab are the succesors of the Ash Crabs, their Cynomorph rich diet has resulted in the discoloration of their bodies, and their frontal legs become more articulated as a way to fend off predators and hunt the larger Cyno species. This change in morphology has caused them to prefer swimming over walking, moving constantly when not resting on leaf piles.
The Infecturran Zemeleleaf develops a more complex seed. It develops large bunches of them, with each one enveloped by aromatic "thorns" that entice animals to eat them and help spread the plant around. It also begins growing in a more bushy and interwinded manner as a byproduct of the genetic modification.
>>3274727The Vicious Protomion, unable to make ends meet with the Zemeleleaf left by the Farcesaurs, begins actively hunting them. It develops much vigorous hind legs for kicking, going to the point of developing an extra toe for bludgeoning. The omnivore lifestyle has impacted their herd behaviour, creating much smaller family groups in comparison with their predecesors.
>>3273968The Cochelcyon, a offshoot of the Cochleacrab, has evolved a smaller, shorter set of back legs for land movement. This proves useful in finding food and safety with the new amount of creatures in the waters
>>3275245As Cochelcyons become displaced from it's watery habitat due to competition, they begin spending more time on land. This causes them to grow longer and stronger legs, and to develop a fluid filled membrane on its bag. This "Egg Sac", placed inbetween the layers of needles, allows the animal to protect its eggs when its traveling on land.
>>3274866Since the alkali crabs often rest in piles of ashgrove leaves, it is a natural jump that they begin to feed upon these leaves. Their second pair of legs grows longer and gains another segment, increasing their dexterity: they use these to rake in the leaves. As the second pair of legs make a pile of leaves, the first pair take leaves from the pile and transfer them to the mouth. The third pair of legs regain their ancestral use for walking, cooperating with the rear pairs to allow the crab to walk and stand on six legs in a semi-erect posture.
>>3264635The stilters surviving in the Eastern Field faced a new world inhabited by different organisms: there were no more purpehotes, no glurads, not even any ashbowls. Suddenly the zemleleaf was the only item in their diet, and so natural selection favoured those who were able to exploit another niche: beyblue berries. Their tongues grew longer, allowing them to reach the fruit, pluck it from the branches, and bring it to the mouth. Then once in the mouth, the fruit can be processed by new ridges growing from the toothless jaw, which let the stilter break it up to a small enough size to be swallowed.
>>3268027>>3276022There's been some confusion, for which I'm to blame. The longtongue stilters are not an evolution of the more basal stilter, which went extinct, but instead of the one in my first link. I've modified the image accordingly.
>>3268226Whilst some cochleacrab move away from a marine lifestyle, others stick with it. These cochleacrab are still feeling pretty chilly, so a new solution to keeping warm emerges: they cover each other in mucus, which gradually sets into a coating of pearl on their backs. This insulates them as well as improving their defence.
>>3268362Natural selection favours protomion with longer front legs, as having this adaptation raises the animal's head higher out of the water allowing them to reach deeper areas of the bogs, where shorter-legged protomion cannot feed on the roots.
>>3275083>>3273956Another update on the dynamics of species on Infecturran, while the Gleaks and base Longhorns have avoided extinction, neither the ENORMOUS BIG HUGE FARCESAUR nor the Vicious Protomion are faring well, as not only the Farcesaurs being starved to death by vigilant Longhorns protecting their pastures, but the Vicious Protomions are unable to meet their now heightened energy demands with their main prey on decline.
>>3275083Vicious Protomions with shorter horns prevailed for a couple of reasons. Shorter horns meant less calcium required, thus they did not need as much food. Shorter horns were also more practical, not getting in the way of feeding, yet still long enough to use to stab threats or prey. With the lack of available food in the western fields, they have taken to wading into the rivers, and eating whatever they can find there.
>>3274303Make gleaks great again!!I was going to make this evo from the original gleak, but it went extinct whilst I was doing the action diagram. Ho-hum, just think of it as the gleak resurgence.The (lesser) gleak, having migrated to the Western Field, grows much larger in order to tackle large prey, first making an intermediate step tackling juveniles. Its tail claw expands dramatically in size. The gleak, spotting a farcesaur or protomion, goes into a dive to build up speed. When it nears the quarry, it pulls up into a short glide and allows its momentum to ram in the tail claw. Having thus anchored itself, it attacks with its jaws, aiming to rip out the prey's throat.
>>3274303The piece of bone on the back of a Gleaks tails have developed into a hook. These new Terror Gleaks travel in packs of 5-6, when they are hungry, they swoop down and sink their hooks into a Stilter separated from their herd, with their combined strength they lift the Stilter into the air and fly off before the herd can even react. To kill the screaming animal sometimes one chomps down on it's throat, other times they simply drop the creature from up high, and have it crash into the ground. This sometimes leads to the shell surrounding the skull to shatter upon impact with the ground. Giving the Gleaks access to the juicy brains held within.
>>3277388We literally had the same idea at the same exact time, I didn't notice your post until mine was finished. I almost called mine the Raptor Gleak.
>>3277454Welcome to the hivemind.
>>3264635In the sea around Infecturran, female caverncrab start finding loud, low calls by males more sexy than higher ones. The reason why is pretty obvious: such calls suggest that the male calling is large, and therefore has been successful in life and has good genes. Fairly soon, smaller males start faking it because why not, it's not like the females can see them.The way they achieve this is by expanding their cranial trumpets to deepen their calls, like some sort of marine lambeosaurs. They are further able to increase the volume and duration of their calls by increasing the size of their air sacs. Of course, all this eventually becomes part of the equipment of every male of this new species, the "boomcrab".PS. Back when I introduced sonar to the caverncrabs, I don't think I ever noticed that they don't actually have ears. So here is what I suggest: all this time, they've actually been using sensitive nerves inside their horns to listen to incoming soundwaves. The wave vibrates the horn, the horn vibrates the nerve, the nerve tells the brain. See diagram.
>>3264635In order to explain my next two evolutions, I must present a sad tale: many colonies of glurad purp colonies in the mountains struggled gravely to survive. It was freezing cold and the only source of food was an elusive burrower and a tree emitting poisonous fumes. Under this pressure, the colonies turned to cannibalism. For a short while the new food source worke to sustain half-order, causing the swift evolution of a more camouflaged appearance in all members, but it couldn't last and eventually the colonies suffered a societal collapse. The survivors formed two solitary species.
>>3278715The first, the greater altrad. The greater altrad species is formed from the queen and scout castes of the colonial order. The queens are the females, and are now much more common, outnumbering the males 3:1. Their thoraxes shrunk, making them lighter to support a more active lifestyle wandering on foot; and for the same reason they lost the webbing between their legs.The scouts are the males; their wingspan has grown to support long glide times searching for food and females. They stay apart from the females, only interacting to breed. Both sexes are solitary.
>>3278742The second, the lesser altrad. The lesser altrad species is made of the colonial workers' caste. These altrads are smaller than the greater altrads, as their name suggests. They are solitary and reproduce asexually, living in the nolor canopies feeding on nolor leaves. Their read wings have grown, supporting wing-assisted incline running to quickly scarper up a trunk out of danger.
A selection of Farcesaur begin to migrate between the Western fields and Mountains, using the club end of their tongues to both break open Nolurran bark and flip over rocks to get at the various Rad species.Their legs have evolved an extra joint for greater maneuverability and stamina, as well as a hump on their backside to store energy during low food periods.Farceodon's have also started to lay in intervals between travel to better ensure the success of their offspring, waiting until reaching certain "breeding" grounds along rivers before mating and burying their eggs to incubate in small hills away from the cold
The lack of large herbivores allowed any BeyBlue Berry plants to thrive and create a whole new species of plant known as the Beypine Spruck. They sport many leaves to catch as much warm sunlight as possible, and also give a much higher chance to spread their seeds around to nutrient rich pockets in the rocky soil.
>>3278911Some of these farceodon settle permanently in the mountains, now laying their eggs in caves. Despite being large animals for their time, they still feel the cold and so evolution produces an insulating coat of "farcefibres". Farcefibres are simple feather-like structures in the shape of a Y; just like fur, they trap air which can then be warmed by the farceodon's body heat.
>>3277145Whilst some mountain colonies of glurad collapsed, others were able to survive until better conditions arose. Once the beypine spruck >>3279039 emerged, they were quick to adapt. The colonies of this new species of purp are sedentary on said beypines, and only the scouts retain their wings and gliding ability.To ease mobility for the times when other members of the colony to have to travel beyond and between the beypines, then, a new caste arises: the digger-soldier, a worker-like form with much longer arms, tipped with long claws (reduced from three to two.) These members of the colony can both shovel snow from the path of the queen and workers, and defend the colony from external threats using their natural weaponry. Well, from other glurads anyway, not much good against a farceodon.
In order to take advantage of the lack of environmental pressure, the Stilter >>3268027migrated over to the Northern Fields, using the Perit's size to its advantage they use their bulk and scraping horns to carve away the Nolurran for sap and fishing for both Caverncrabs and Voyager Coral.To help drive through the thick snow and reduce infighting over limited food, the behavior of Stelk changes to compete for a Alpha Perit position in the herd, where the Largest Perits will lock horns to fight for dominance, the last to kneel, be thrown, or be knocked over is the Alpha, while the loser is given last choice for food and mates in the herd
Due to lack of competition, the nolor experiences genetic drift causing a strain that proved very well suited to "bad" soil.Appearing more as a bush, the Norllow gave up its ability to produce high amounts of CO and CO2 to better preserve nutrients for times with low sunlight and lacking soil , its many leaves being used as a place to store excess sugars and minerals.
>>3278742A genetic mutation in Greater Altrad females has their thorax size reduced, this proves beneficial in their survival, as it means a much lesser nutritional expense.However, as a side effect of this change, they develop hind legs similar to their male counterpart's. They use them to futilely attempt to fight off predators, and to attract potential mates.
>>3278759The Lesser Altrad benefit from the mountain Norllow becoming more nourishing. Although they maintain their"solitary" lifestyle, not forming family units or colonies, they are much more numerous now, with hundrerds of bugs infesting a single bush. Another important change is the development of a more specialized larvae phase in their life-cycle. Eggs are introduced into the Nolor bark, where they develop into larvae, which begin feeding on the insides of the tree. In some cases, eggs are introduced into fallen logs or dead trees, in which the larvae fill the niche of decomposer in this enviroments, creating richer soil for other plants to grow on.
>>3277388The Raptor Snappers have developed a larger jaw, able to open much wider, which allows them to even decapitate Protomions in a single bite.They also grow their side claws, and develop a second pair of them, which are used to flail their prey in order to subdue them.
>>3274303The Lesser Gleaks continue to grow smaller. Their migration routes are still the same, but now they also stop on the mountains, as they now have Altrads and other purp descendants to prey upon.
>>3276122The chitinous outerlayer on the Longtongue Stilter's backs have grown to protect the top of their backs completely, giving them some protection against Terror Gleak's sinking their hooks into them. Their flanks however, are still dangerously exposed
>>3282771Some Lesser Gleak descendants remain exclusively on the Infecturran Mountains, hunting Altrads and Purps. This has caused it to become much smaller due to the significant loss of energy intake. They become darker so as to absorb sunlight in order to stay warm.
>>3282651Some of these greater altrad females enlarge their tail webbing as a larger web makes them more visible to males. To further that purpose they also develop abstract patterns on the web. An unforeseen consequence of having more webbing is that the females are now semi-aquatic, spending time in the mountain lakes and streams.
>>3282651In another species of the greater altrad, the females specialise in pursuit predation of glurads. Their front legs become dedicated to grabbing prey, and so they switch to walking on four legs. When chasing quarry, they flap their tail webbing to gain speed.
>>3277145We've already seen how the harsh conditions of the early mountain region provoked colony collapse in the altrad, whereas the >>3279361 lineage was able to retain its societal structure. The greenrad represents the closest relative of the altrad, another species that underwent radical social change.The queens, not adding any food to the colony, were an unacceptable drain on resources and were banished. To meet the challenge of reproduction, some (and eventually all) workers (which were female already) became fertile, being fertilised by the male scouts.Over time, the competition for females produced a more complex ontogeny in the males. In their youth they are scouts, not being allowed to mate with the females (though they often manage to sneak a round of copulation in), but if they live long enough they eventually transform into a larger, flightless form better suited to life on the ground. At this stage of their life, they guard the females and mate with them, treating all the colony workers as their harem. They develop a system of very visible veins that run through their tail web: the intention is to show that as these veins are causing the greenrad to lose heat, it must be eating a lot in order to stay alive, and therefore must be fit and strong.Their diet is now exclusively carrion. Their strategy is to roam around nomadically until they find the corpse of a large animal, like a farcesaur. The workers have evolved larger hind wings and they use these to shovel snow onto the corpse, covering it with a mound that both hides it from predators and preserves the food for later. They will remain around the mound until they finish the carrion.
>>3291309But what of the exiled queens? Unable to compete for carrion with their former colonies, they turn to herbivory and begin to consume fallen nolor leaves that had been blown by the wind away from the poisonous gases. To house a larger stomach, needed to digest poor-quality vegetation, their thorax enlarged; and to retain stability it moved towards the rad's centre of gravity. They are now named "ballrads" after the distinctive shape of their throrax. The ballrad, like the lesser altrad, can reproduce asexually; but it can also produce sexually with any male rad descended from the basal mountain stock to create a hybrid.
>>3279039The beypine fruits are regularly eaten by glurad scouts, which fly higher into the mountains before defecating the seeds. This allows the beypine to spread up and up the slopes, but when the incline became too steep they needed a new adaptation: a sticky sap now secures the plant to the side of the rock face.
>>3267846(I'm evolving my own organism twice, but that's within the rules and I couldn't resist this idea.)Soon after the evolution of the sweet nolluran, the sweettooth protomion >>3268140 adapted to exploit it, using its long horns to break through the nolluran's bark and pull out its hyper-saccharine sap. Natural selection eventually pushed nollurans to develop a second layer of sap, outside of the original layer, that was less sugary. This layer often distracted the protomion, tricking it into filling its stomach with poorer fare in which the nolluran had invested less energy.After this development, an ancestral gene encouraging production of carbon dioxide reemerged. Whereas in a nolor this would be emitted into the atmosphere, due to their different biologies and the particular expression of the gene, the CO2 is instead released into the outer sap layer with the result that the sap becomes heavily carbonated. Now when a protomion or other would-be sap-eater punctures the bark of this "fizzy nolluran", the depressurisation of the carbon dioxide makes the sap rush out explosively, drenching the herbivore in a sticking, bubbling mess that hampers their movement and leaves them vulnerable to predators.
The Mountain Wormbug experiences two separate species offshoots due to the increased soil nutrients and prey optionsThe tunnel bug opts to stay underground, its larger size and improved face structure perfect for consuming large quantities of dirt and other debris. This technically counts them as a omnivore due to them occasionally eating the unaware Rad or their eggs.The Spring bug goes nearly full insectivore, preferring to stick around Beypine and Spruck species, jumping about to catch Rads or steal their eggs
>>3277379In order to fend off the attacks of Raptor Gleaks, the Vicious Protomion's front limbs can move laterally, allowing them to sink their claws into any Raptor that wraps itself around them. An unintended consequence of this is that the Protomion's can, for short periods of time, support themselves on just their hindlegs,. This allows them to reach higher places, and also frees their front limbs up for other uses, the claws have proven much more useful than their horns ever did. This bipedal stance can only be held for a short time, and movement is very slow, with the giant weight on their back, it is not uncommon for one to fall backwards, and be unable to roll over, having to rely on others in the herd to right them.
>>3275245The Cochelcyon evolves to live further on land, abandoning its long standing habit of using a ball of saliva to feed. Instead it fishes for small creatures and paces about beaches and the land, eating directly from the ground.
The Pumbahoffe grows larger to both out-muscle its prey and also as a result of higher nutrition. The tails have also grown both longer and stronger, allowing the Pumbahordile to leap further out of the water and in some cases catching Gleeks mid flight.