Ecosystem Basics: South-Eastern Continent

Descriptions & discussions of member nations' flora & fauna.
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Bears Armed
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Joined: Thu Jun 01, 2006 12:00 am
Location: Worthing, Sussex, England

Ecosystem Basics: 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-66oN (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 (see:… 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?

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