by Max Barry

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Large Fauna

"Don't feed the Tyrannosaurus." -- Traditional, also common sense.

When the future Shavanoans arrived in Laurasia, they found the contient existing as it might have in the Cretaceous era. The Columbian exchange has brought in "modern" species and left the wildlife in a very delicate balance. Many niches are filled by both a mammal and one of the native dinosaur species. Some of the more noteworthy creatures are listed below.

Large Predators


Rex (Tyrannosaurus rex)

A very large, very rare predator found on the coastal plains, and the forested areas on the slopes of the great mountain ranges. The rex is the apex predator in its environment, and does not discriminate between living or dead prey or between cattle and wild individuals of prey species, making it a constant annoyance to ranchers. They rarely attack humans, being apparently intelligent enough as a group to learn "rifles are bad news" by early in Mount Shavano's history. The females are larger than the males, but not as fast or as aggressive. Coloration varies regionally, generally dull grays, golds, and reds.

Gorgo (Albertosaurus libratus)

The animal most likely to be referred to by its scientific rather than "popular" name, A. libratus is the dominant predator, at least in terms of size, in the mountains and on the northern plains. Another tyrannosaur, it is faster and less robust than its larger cousin. It suffered very little from mammalian competition, since the primary extant prey species are to large for pumas or wolves to hunt. It shares the same sexual dimorphism and coloration as rexes, and is only slightly more likely to attack people.

Raptor (Dakotaraptor steini)

A wolf sized, feathered pack hunter that existed in large numbers before the Columbian Exchange reached Laurasia, but has seen radical changes in range since then. By 1896 sightings were rare above 6,000 feet or the 40th parallel as Canis replaced it in those regions. However, the wolf was unable to push the raptor off the plains and the species made an explosive comeback near the southern border when the rabbit population began to skyrocket around 1905. They are no more dangerous to humans than their mammalian rival. Coloration tends to be a mix of black and white feathers, and the female is larger than the male, which seems to be a theropod trait.

Mountain Lion (Puma concolor)

Relatively rare, the Cougar has carved out a niche for itself at higher altitudes in the mountains. They rarely encounter humans, since population density in lowest in the regions where the cats live.

Wolf (Canis lupus)

Wolves have pushed the raptor out of the mountains and the colder regions and taking over its place in the food chain. The wolves appear to be smarter than their opposition.


Large Herbivores

Trike (Triceratops horridus and Triceratops prorsus)

A large member of the ceratopsian family and the most common herbivore (in terms of mass times number of individuals) living wild in Mount Shavano. There are two species, T. horridus or the "Plains Trike" and T. prorsus or the "Mountain Trike". Both live in small herds consisting of a single bull and two to eight cows. While there are always some individual bulls without a harem, only a quarter of the Trike population is male. They eat any vegetation they can reach, including the flowering plants that spread across the continent after the arrival, which many dinosaurs refuse to eat.

The plains Trike and mountain Trike are not totally exclusive to their ranges, as they overlap for some portion, nor are the names a hard and fast limit of their range. The plains Trike can be found anywhere on the coastal plains and sometimes hundreds of miles deep into the mountains. The mountain trike can be found anywhere except the coastal regions of the West Laurasian plains. The plains trike is both larger and more numerous. The species (and sexes within species) are differentiated by the coloration of the frills.

Trikes are sometimes hunted, but the numbers that can be taken in any given season are regulated to keep their numbers in balance. This number is generally relatively low, as their natural predators aren't as depleted as in some countries. Trike meat is considered a delicacy, in large part due to its rarity. They are very rarely domesticated, as they are far more difficult to control and take longer to mature than the cows, goats, sheep, and similar that came with the settlers.

Misc. Hadrosaurs (Parasaurolophus, Edmontosaurus, etc)

Large, slightly stupid herbivores, variations of this family range across the continent, in all environments. Many species are too large for wolves or mountain lions to tackle, and remain purely the province of the tyrannosaurs. Often characterized by brightly colored crests.

Elk & Deer (Cervus canadensis, plus many species)

These exist in some numbers, and quickly spread across the continent after the exchange began. Better equipped to avoid predators than the hadrosaurs in every category save size and not directly competing with the ceratopsians for food, they can be found anywhere in the country. Deer are particularly successful near cities, which they handle better than the dinosaurs.

Note: Many other species are found as well, these are just the most common/best known.

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