Ecosystem Basics: Catica, the South-Eastern Continent

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Bears Armed
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Ecosystem Basics: Catica, the South-Eastern Continent

Post by Bears Armed » Wed Jan 15, 2020 4:45 pm

In terms of position, and the presence of certain nations, this land-mass is effectively the new map’s “successor” to the old map’s southern continent… except that it covers a wider range of latitudes.
The previous map’s two continents together were originally defined as stretching c. 20-55o north of the equator, but were later expanded (while Sanctaria was cartographer) to cover either “the full range” (which was Sanctaria’s suggestion) or c. 16oS-660N (my own suggestion, based on using the grid that overlay some copies of the map as a scale in degrees) instead. On the new map, however, it now extends over a ranged of latitudes roughly comparable to RL ‘Sub-Saharan’ Africa, but extending a bit further south, and so should probably have a similar basic range of climates to that continent as well although if we continue with my earlier presumptions that the IDU’s world is slightly more ‘temperate’ overall than RL Earth (due to an absence here of major icecaps) then broad-leafed forests would probably be more widespread than they are in Africa while grasslands and deserts would be scarcer. There could still be grasslands at high altitudes, and grasslands and perhaps even deserts where the ‘rain-shadow’ of mountain ranges led to drier conditions, though… Also, areas surfaced with Precambrian rocks tend (at least outside the ‘tropical rainforest’ belt) to support “poorer” vegetation than do areas where the top strata are newer: looking at RL for examples, this factor contributes to the facts that northern Canada & much of Siberia are mostly covered by either coniferous forests or bogs or tundra while Africa’s Kalahari and much of Australia have deserts… Also, if some types of large herbivores become established in an area of not-too-dense woodland then they themselves might end up turning that area into open grassland instead…
I think that the region’s four continents were probably all part of a single supercontinent at the beginning of the Mesozoic Era (‘Age of Dinosaurs’) and that this broke up in a series of stages. The gap between this continent and the south-western one is probably due to the earliest major split, with the split between this continent and its northern neighbour being a bit later (probably in the late Jurassic or early Cretaceous…) instead. For the old map, I was presuming that these two eastern continents have both been moving slowly northwards since then, but that their speeds had varied so that (with global changes in sea-level probably also playing a part) there were a few times when land-bridges formed and allowed species to pass more easily from one to the other. I think that it would make sense to continue with this explanation. Furthermore, it had been agreed that most of Malabra had originated as a fragment that broke off from the southern continent in the later Cretaceous and then moved northwards more rapidly so that collided with the northern one (pushing up mountains) around the end of the Eocene, which not only explained how some groups of species moved between the continents but also gave us a place where some of those groups could have developed & diversified in isolation before that spreading: If the players of any nations that are now in a suitable position to fill that role is willing to accept it then please let me know. (Or possibly the same role could now be filled by one or more nations on the northern edge of the southern continent, “left behind” after breaking off from that one, instead?).
When I helped to design the ecosystems for United New England, which is the only nation on this continent for which I’ve done much so far, I combined ‘old endemic’ elements (some of them taken as belonging to groups present here since the Mesozoic) with ones whose ancestors had come here from a RL-like Earth’s southern or south-western Asia (before those lands dried-out as much as is currently the case in RL, and before large animals there were over-hunted by Humans…) but with those arrivals from a RL-like Earth less frequent than in the Northern continent so that a higher proportion of the actual species present today are ones that had evolved locally: That actually ends up looking almost as much like modern RL Africa as it does like modern RL Asia… Even if we take that as the basic pattern for this continent as a whole, now, the extension of the continent’s latitudinal range means that we could plausibly add some lineages from more tropical parts of RL-Earth if people want, although I’m also willing to diversify the already-listed groups still further instead (and, of course, you can put whatever you want in your own nations — although there would probably be some “leakage” around the edges — anyway…).


Main Questions
1. Keep my basic presumptions about regional climate, and thus about likely climates here?
2. Continue following my already-used ideas about the basic groups of animals present, although perhaps with “local” [i.e. ‘nation’-based] changes?
3. Add more stocks of species from RL, maybe from areas beyond those taken as the sources of the stocks already listed as present?
4. Were there prehistoric land-bridges to the North-Eastern continent? Did a large island “move” between the two continents?
5. Do your people have a name for this continent?
6. Do your people have names for any of the region’s other continents?
7. 7. Is your ‘national animal’ native to at least part of the continent (or to at least one nearby island), introduced there, just symbolic, or what?

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Zamastan
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Re: Ecosystem Basics: Catica

Post by Zamastan » Mon Jan 20, 2020 5:02 am

In response to Bears Armed:

As cartographer currently working on many updates in regards to the map (see here: https://theidu.us/forum/viewtopic.php?f ... 983#p20979), and beginning to work more in depth on this continent (see here: https://www.theidu.us/wiki/Catica), I will answer these to the best of my ability, as well as providing questions and suggestions!

1. I like your determinations about the regional climates. Most nations located on this continent have agreed that the general climate is temperate with plenty of thick forests and grassland areas.
2-3. I'll leave the basic animal decisions up to the people in each nation. Thus far, everyone has been reasonable in the types of animals. For example, most nations have the average deer, small mammal, and bird make-up from as far as I can tell. We haven't seen any larger mammals like elephants, rhinos, etc. There is a determination that the horse may have originated either on this continent or the "northeast" continent, and a land bridge could've allowed for the spread of the species.
4. We can assume that there was a land-bridge at one point.
5. This continent is "Catica"
6. We know that the "northeastern" continent is "Hespia", but we do not have names for the western hemisphere continents quite yet. We haven't put as much work into those additional two, as they are not very populated yet.

As a reference to possible geographical/climate/biome areas, here's a map (unofficial) of Zamastan with biomes:
Image

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Re: Ecosystem Basics: Catica

Post by Bears Armed » Sat Jan 25, 2020 6:44 pm

Zamastan wrote:
Mon Jan 20, 2020 5:02 am
In response to Bears Armed:

1. I like your determinations about the regional climates. Most nations located on this continent have agreed that the general climate is temperate with plenty of thick forests and grassland areas.
I said slightly more temperate than comparable locations on RL Earth, which was mainly in terms of broadleaf forest extending further towards the poles (at least at low altitudes) and further inland: I also said that basic climates should probably be basically comparable, otherwise, to RL Africa. Unless there's some sort of major "anomaly" involved, which should be obvious IC as well as OOC, the tropics should still be fairly hot... and you've placed your nation with part of it actually right on the Equator...
Take another look at the thread about United New England's lands here for an idea of what I currently think things should be like...

I've taken a copy of your map to look at, and will post a version with my suggestions about its basic biomes as soon as I can... although, unfortunately, RL looks likely to get increasingly in my way for a while.

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Re: Ecosystem Basics: Catica

Post by Zamastan » Sat Jan 25, 2020 8:39 pm

Bears Armed wrote:
Sat Jan 25, 2020 6:44 pm
I said slightly more temperate than comparable locations on RL Earth, which was mainly in terms of broadleaf forest extending further towards the poles (at least at low altitudes) and further inland: I also said that basic climates should probably be basically comparable, otherwise, to RL Africa. Unless there's some sort of major "anomaly" involved, which should be obvious IC as well as OOC, the tropics should still be fairly hot... and you've placed your nation with part of it actually right on the Equator...
Take another look at the thread about United New England's lands here for an idea of what I currently think things should be like...

I've taken a copy of your map to look at, and will post a version with my suggestions about its basic biomes as soon as I can... although, unfortunately, RL looks likely to get increasingly in my way for a while.
I'm confused as to what the tone of what you're saying is. I can't tell if you think I was disagreeing with you or agreeing with you, so that might be on my wording, but it sounds like you're annoyed with me.

The purpose of my response in regards to your last post was that I and other nations are in agreement with the overwhelming majority of what you said.

And no worries, real life takes priority.

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Re: Ecosystem Basics: Catica

Post by Bears Armed » Tue Jan 28, 2020 7:32 pm

Zamastan wrote:
Sat Jan 25, 2020 8:39 pm
Bears Armed wrote:
Sat Jan 25, 2020 6:44 pm
I said slightly more temperate than comparable locations on RL Earth, which was mainly in terms of broadleaf forest extending further towards the poles (at least at low altitudes) and further inland: I also said that basic climates should probably be basically comparable, otherwise, to RL Africa. Unless there's some sort of major "anomaly" involved, which should be obvious IC as well as OOC, the tropics should still be fairly hot... and you've placed your nation with part of it actually right on the Equator...
Take another look at the thread about United New England's lands here for an idea of what I currently think things should be like...

I've taken a copy of your map to look at, and will post a version with my suggestions about its basic biomes as soon as I can... although, unfortunately, RL looks likely to get increasingly in my way for a while.
I'm confused as to what the tone of what you're saying is. I can't tell if you think I was disagreeing with you or agreeing with you, so that might be on my wording, but it sounds like you're annoyed with me.

The purpose of my response in regards to your last post was that I and other nations are in agreement with the overwhelming majority of what you said.

And no worries, real life takes priority.
My apologies for the misunderstanding, and for any harshness that you perceived in my tone. I’m afraid that when I saw you say that you agreed the nation was ‘temperate’ without applying any modifiers (such as “relatively”) to that term, and saw that your map included ‘Oakwoods’ but didn’t label any of the biomes as ‘Tropical’ (e.g. as’ Tropical Rainforest’) I presumed that you meant “Temperate” in the sense that RL western Europe or the coastal areas of the USA’s main block of state is described as having a “temperate” climate. Now that that’s cleared up, here’s a copy of your map using mostly the same divisions as your original and with the biomes labelled as I think would be appropriate: Is this okay with you?
Am I right in presuming that the areas on the western coast which you marked as ‘Coniferous’ are meant to be highlands?
Image

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Re: Ecosystem Basics: Catica

Post by Zamastan » Tue Jan 28, 2020 8:56 pm

Bears Armed wrote:
Tue Jan 28, 2020 7:32 pm
My apologies for the misunderstanding, and for any harshness that you perceived in my tone. I’m afraid that when I saw you say that you agreed the nation was ‘temperate’ without applying any modifiers (such as “relatively”) to that term, and saw that your map included ‘Oakwoods’ but didn’t label any of the biomes as ‘Tropical’ (e.g. as’ Tropical Rainforest’) I presumed that you meant “Temperate” in the sense that RL western Europe or the coastal areas of the USA’s main block of state is described as having a “temperate” climate. Now that that’s cleared up, here’s a copy of your map using mostly the same divisions as your original and with the biomes labelled as I think would be appropriate: Is this okay with you?
Am I right in presuming that the areas on the western coast which you marked as ‘Coniferous’ are meant to be highlands?
Image
This looks amazing! I think these relabeled titles are perfect. Yes, coniferous are meant to be highland areas with pine trees. I'm not as good at this ecology and biome stuff as you are, so I appreciate the work!

And no worries for the miscommunication, I think I was just off that day and was perceiving things strangely (some exciting and yet stressful family developments that I can let you know about over telegram if you'd like), so MY apologies.

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Re: Ecosystem Basics: South-Eastern Continent

Post by Bears Armed » Thu Jan 30, 2020 5:59 pm

Re my level of relevant knowledge: As I replied to U.N.E.’s player when she made a similar remark (in a TG, not in this forum), I’ve probably had longer in which to accumulate that knowledge… My next birthday will be my 60th…

Re conifers: People thinking about trees in mountainous areas tend to think of conifers as the default possibility, but that isn’t as frequent a case in the tropics. What conifers basically evolved to cope with (and still tend to have an advantage over [most sorts of] ‘broadleaf’ trees at) isn’t heights or slopes, or even the colder conditions that accompany high altitude (although some types of conifer have evolved shapes to help them shed snow from their branches before it gets heavy enough to cause breakages…), it’s relatively dry conditions. This can give them an advantage on mountainsides because the typical combination of relatively steep slopes and relatively thin soils there means that a lot of the rainwater that falls tends to escape downhill before trees can use it, but when you’re on slopes that receive ‘tropical rainforest’ levels of rainfall anyway then that’s less important. Your inland ‘Montane’ forests might be predominantly coniferous, but the two coastal blocks and the fringes of the block of mountains closest to your land’s north-eastern corner are likely to have significant proportion of broadleafs — and cycads, and even (especially in any patches of ‘cloud forest’ that are present) tree-ferns — as well.

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Post by Bears Armed » Fri Jan 31, 2020 7:45 pm

There are three types of large mammals that weren’t listed for U.N.E.’s lands here but that I think could plausibly occur in nations on this continent that have larger expanses of tropical rainforest and/or swamps & swamp-forest.

1. Tapirs
2. A branch of the ‘Water-Horses’ that I mentioned for U.N.E. but filling a comparable ecological niche to RL manatees rather than RL dugongs.
3. Amynodonts, members of a family that became extinct in RL but could have survived here: essentially hornless rhinoceroses with a comparable size & lifestyle (although perhaps with more browsing on soft plants, rather than grazing) as RL hippopotamuses. There is currently no “everyday” name for these animals in English, unless your nation has one, unlike the situation for some other (and mostly more recent) types of extinct mammal. I suggest that we use ‘Behemoth’, because that term for a large mammal came to English from the Old Testament in which it originally might have — according to some scholars — meant ‘Hippopotamus’ (because back in at least the earlier parts of ‘Biblical’ times, there was still a population of Hippopotamuses as far north as the Nile Delta…).
_________________________________________________

Also, in the larger areas of uplands (above the tree-line) or semi-desert & desert there could be species from an endemic family that I’m currently calling the ‘Amallidae’. This belongs to an endemic order called the ‘Iduiungulata’, which is quite closely related to the Perissodactyla (i.e. horses, rhinoceroses, tapirs, etc…), and its members have evolved to fill similar ecological niches to RL llamas or — now that the map gives this expanded continent more drylands — camels

_________________________________________________


If we follow the same basic ideas for the fauna of this continent as a whole that I used for U.N.E. then it shares very few species of Mammals, or even genera of them with RL Earth.
There are Humans and their domesticated species, of course, and any other species that people have introduced whether deliberately or accidentally (House Mice seem fairly much a certainty, for example, and both Black Rats and Brown Rats are quite probable as well…). The order Cetacea (i.e. whales and dolphins) has much the same membership on both worlds, and perhaps even travelling freely between them, although we probably have an endemic family of ‘river dolphins’ here. Apart from that, so far only two species that exist on RL Earth have been listed so far as definitely present here (and, even then, have only been listed as present in the form of endemic sub-species), namely the Lion (Panthera leo) and the Tiger (Panthera tigris)… and those are the only species from their genus currently recorded as native.
The only other ‘RL’ genera of Mammals definitely reported as present on this continent so far are Cuon (the ‘Red Dog’, or Dhole; there is one species from this genus in RL Asia, and it is also quite closely related to the piebald ‘African Hunting Dog’), Ursus (bears; more precisely, ones from the sub-genus Melursus whose only RL member today is the ‘Sloth Bear’ of India), Mellivora (we have an endemic species closely related to the RL ‘Ratel’ or ‘Honey Badger’), and Sus (the most widespread genus of Pigs).

_________________________________________________


I’ve made a list of the ‘national animals’ currently declared for nations on this continent, and will comment about this soon.

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Re: Ecosystem Basics: Catica, the South-Eastern Continent

Post by Bears Armed » Tue Feb 04, 2020 3:23 pm

I’ve just sent TGs to almost all of this continent’s nations asking questions about their national animals. The only ones that I didn’t bother with yet were:

1. Cape Auria, because its ‘Firefly’ is a perfectly reasonable addition to the continent’s list of animals and any questions about it would require more knowledge about those insects than I currently possess.
2. Rhand, which is currently CTEd. (Do any of you remember what its national animal was?)
3. Rio Palito, whose ‘Osprey’ logically would be the IDU-endemic species (found in suitable habitat right across the regional map, except for some isolated islands, probably…) that I’ve already mentioned elsewhere as a sister-species to the RL (comparably widespread) one.
4. United New England, because I already know that their ‘national animal’ is a type of Bear (presumably the ‘American Black Bear’ of RL) that lives back in the original New England rather than here.

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Re: Ecosystem Basics: Catica, the South-Eastern Continent

Post by Zamastan » Tue Feb 04, 2020 7:50 pm

Bears Armed wrote:
Tue Feb 04, 2020 3:23 pm
I’ve just sent TGs to almost all of this continent’s nations asking questions about their national animals. The only ones that I didn’t bother with yet were:

1. Cape Auria, because its ‘Firefly’ is a perfectly reasonable addition to the continent’s list of animals and any questions about it would require more knowledge about those insects than I currently possess.
2. Rhand, which is currently CTEd. (Do any of you remember what its national animal was?)
3. Rio Palito, whose ‘Osprey’ logically would be the IDU-endemic species (found in suitable habitat right across the regional map, except for some isolated islands, probably…) that I’ve already mentioned elsewhere as a sister-species to the RL (comparably widespread) one.
4. United New England, because I already know that their ‘national animal’ is a type of Bear (presumably the ‘American Black Bear’ of RL) that lives back in the original New England rather than here.
No one except for Shen ever communicated with Rhand to my knowledge. Since he was a non-active player and left the region very quickly, we are considering removing that nation from the map. Rio Palito is my puppet, and Cape Auria is Eiria's puppet.

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