Ecosystem Basics: Neria, South-Western Continent

Descriptions & discussions of member nations' flora & fauna.
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Bears Armed
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Ecosystem Basics: Neria, South-Western Continent

Post by Bears Armed » Wed Jan 15, 2020 4:48 pm

In terms of position, and the presence of specific nations, this land-mass had no direct counterpart on the region’s earlier maps.
In terms of latitudes it seems roughly comparable to RL South America (less the southern end) & Central America, 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 S.A., 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, and looking at the continent’s basic shape (and considering my ideas about how the region’s land-masses have undergone continental drift) I wouldn’t be surprised to all to find out that the western side of this continent — like that of S.A. — contains some fairly major mountain ranges (like the RL Andes) that would “shade” the areas directly to their east… 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 eastern pair is probably due to the earliest major split, but whether this continent remained attached to its own northern neighbour for long or whether that remained linked to the north-eastern one instead and its distance from this one has been narrowing over time is something that will obviously need to be discussed with the players who have nations on those other continents. The answers to these questions will obviously affect how easily species could have spread between the continents, too, although of course continents that were not in close contact here could both have acquired the same groups of animals through “immigration” from the same parts of a more RL-like Earth anyway…
If this continent has been quite separate from all of the region’s other ones since the late Mesozoic then its ecosystems could differ quite significantly from theirs: Depending on which parts of RL it has received species from since then, the additions to its older endemics could make its modern fauna look more like that of modern South America, prehistoric South America (with large marsupials and flightless birds, and perhaps terrestrial crocodiles, as the main predators; unique Ungulates; ground sloths, and gigantic armadillo-relatives; gigantic relatives of the Guinea Pig [maybe up to a ton in weight!]; gigantic ‘Teratornid’ birds of prey flying above the more open areas; and so on…); or even prehistoric Australia (from before that land dried out as much)… or either Africa or south-eastern Asia, if you want something more “standard”, I suppose… It could even have ecosystems like nowhere at all on RL Earth, maybe even with some surviving lineages [non-Avian] Dinosaurs, although if it does have any such Dinosaurs then the extra 65 million years that they would have had in which to evolve means that these probably wouldn’t bear close resemblances to any species known from RL prehistory…

Main Questions
1. Keep my basic presumptions about regional climate, and thus about likely climates here?
2. Were there prehistoric land-bridges to the North-Western continent?
3. Do the players with nations here have any shared preferences about which RL continent (if any…) significant elements of this continent’s flora & fauna might have come from?
4. Do your people have a name for this continent?
5. Do your people have names for any of the region’s other continents?
6. 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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