This is a list of species in The Future Is Wild and the tropes that fit them.
5 Million YearsEarth has entered another Ice Age 5 million years into the future. Many of the animals familiar to us have gone extinct (including human beings). In their place, other creatures fulfill the roles they used to play in the ecosystem.
The apex predator of the frozen tundra. The Snowstalker is a mustelid, descended from the modern-day wolverine. It hunts for prey while camouflaged against the blizzards that frequent the freezing winters. It preys on the Shagrat.
- Exactly What It Says on the Tin: It stalks its prey in the snow.
- Expy: Of the Bardelot from After Man: A Zoology of the Future.
- Fantastic Fauna Counterpart: Of polar bears and sabre-toothed cats.
- Gradual Grinder: It hunts Shagrats by inflicting a deep wound. Then it leaves the fight, and follows the wounded Shagrat until it bleeds out.
- Logical Weakness: Has a keen and powerful sense of smell. This makes it very susceptible to the Gannetwhale's defence mechanism, which is extremely putrid vomit. This is enough to drive it away.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Its persistence to hunt the Gannetwhale eggs is subdued after one of the birds vomits a putrid mixture, overwhelming its nose and causing it to give up the hunt.
- Stock Sound Effect: Their young make bear cub cries.
- Superpersistent Predator: Its preferred hunting method is to wound the prey in a quick attack, and then follow it till it collapses of blood loss.
These herbivores are descended from Marmots. Much like modern-day Musk ox, they live in herds and migrate with the seasons. Their special fur is doubly insulated to keep them warm in the freezing winter. They are preyed on by the Snowstalker.
- Expy: Of the Woolly Gigantelope from After Man: A Zoology of the Future.
- Fantastic Fauna Counterpart: Of the Musk ox, being of similar size, having shaggy fur, and migrating in herds.
- Mix-and-Match Critters: They esentially resemble a cross between a capybara and a musk ox.
- Rodents of Unusual Size: Hard to believe, but they're rodents, much like the Capybara.
- True Companions: Shagrats have a strong herd instinct, living in groups of roughly 20 individuals. They also will huddle together for warmth.
Descended from modern-day gannets. The impact of various forces (climate change, habitat loss, human activity) on sea mammals was too great. Most of, if not all of them have gone extinct by this time. In their place, sea birds have filled in. However, they can't really cut their ties to the land completely, since they need dry land to lay their eggs.
- Acrophobic Bird: It lost its ability to fly, instead spends its time either swimming or lying on a beach.
- Exactly What It Says on the Tin: They are descended from gannets, and they fill the niche of whales (although they can move on land like seals and walruses).
- Expy: Of the vortex and porpin from After Man: A Zoology of the Future.
- Fantastic Fauna Counterpart: Not as much of whales (despite their name) but of seals and walruses.
- Feathered Fiend: Gigantic birds who, while rather clumsy on land, can defend themselves by vomiting on their opponents.
- Graceful in Their Element: Much like the seals they replaced, gannetwhales are very vulnerable and clumsy on land, but despite their bulk, are truly fast and elegant swimmers when they are underwater.
- Vomit Indiscretion Shot: Its method of defence is via vomiting. Since the apex predator, the Snowstalker has a very good sense of smell, this is enough to overwhelm and drive it away.
A lizard that has adapted well to life on the salt. It can maintain great speeds for its survival. It mainly subsists on brine flies. It catches the flies by using its frill, and then licking them off with its long tongue.
- Determinator: When they detect a displaying male on mating season, female cryptiles can cover great distances across the salt plains to greet their new companion.
- Expy: Of the fin lizard from After Man: A Zoology of the Future.
- Fantastic Fauna Counterpart: Of the frilled lizard.
- Overly Long Tongue: It has a long, chameleon-like tongue that it uses to devour the brine flies it traps in its frill.
- Sticky Situation: The creature's frill is coated in a sticky, waxy mucus, which acts as makeshift flypaper, trapping the brine flies it proceeds to lick off with its tongue.
A miniature descendant of the Wild Boar. The Scrofa is, like its ancestors, a pig, only with longer legs and hooves that are modified to leap across crevices and tip-toe on the uneven rocky ground. It is mostly herbivorous, but it won't turn down Cryptile eggs, if they're not hidden well enough.
- Cruel and Unusual Death: A baby Scrofa (or scroflet) escapes instant death from the jaws of a Gryken, but gets lost in the confusion. Separated from its family, it wanders the salty desert below. It wouldn't be able to drink any water from the scarce lakes that dot the salt flats, since they're hyper-saline and therefore lethal, containing 10 times more salt than modern day saltwater. It finally meets it end, when it succumbs to the hellish heat. Becoming Gryken chops never looked better.
- Expy: Of the zarander and turmi from After Man: A Zoology of the Future.
- Mama Bear: A mother Scrofa will be more then happy to murder any Grykens that try to attack her babies.
- Messy Pig: Averted, since they aren't that messy.
Another saber-toothed mustelid. Its ancestor was the Pine Marten, but when the forests disappeared, it evolved to live and hunt on the ground. It hunts Scrofa, mainly because the cryptiles that use its rocky habitat to lay their eggs, are far too speedy to catch.
- Expy: Arguably, of the Snowstalker itself, and the Pamthret from After Man: A Zoology of the Future.
- Wicked Weasel: Like the Snowstalker, the gryken is a mustelid, and a pretty nasty one to its preferred prey. Unlike the snowstalker, it is actually more weasel-like in appearance, having a slim, streamed-lined, and elongated body to slip through the crevices in its habitat to creep up on its prey.
Among the last of the primates, one of the few New-world monkeys have have not gone extinct from the shrinking of the forests. The Babookari are descended from the Uakari, one of the few South American monkeys that was generalist enough to survive, as it was able to feel equally comfortable on the ground as well as the trees. It is colorful and intelligent, clever enough to weave spherical baskets to trap fish.
- Amazing Technicolor Wildlife: They're among the most colorful creatures depicted on the program. Besides having evolved the uakari's bright pink face, their underbellies and bottoms are bright blue, and their faces have black and blue markings that resemble tribal paint.
- Everything's Better with Monkeys: They're evolved Uakaris who have learned live in large groups like baboons, even being intelligent enough to make fish traps.
- Fantastic Fauna Counterpart: Of the baboon.
- Portmanteau/Punny Name: Baboon + Uakari.
A predatory flightless bird descended from the Caracara that inhabits the grasslands. South America used to have something similar in the distant past. It preys on Babookari.
- Death by Materialism: Averted, the Carakillers rush to a bushfire to gorge themselves eating the small creatures fleeing the flames (or those that have already succumbed). Their agile, long legs keep them just ahead of the fire. The modern African Secretary bird is said to behave in a similar way.
- Fantastic Fauna Counterpart: Of the terror bird. Or quite possibly the velociraptor.
- Feathered Fiend: Large aggressive predatory birds who can easily kill Babookari. Like Babookaris, they also operate in groups. Or rather, hunting parties, drawing the monkeys into a trap so at least one can be killed and shared among the birds.
- Hook Hand: The bird's wings have evolved into paws with a single claw; good enough to stab, but not so much to manipulate things.
- Names to Run Away from Really Fast: It has "killer" right there in its name.
- Portmanteau/Punny Name: Caracara + Killer.
An armoured, slow moving rodent descended from either the paca or the agouti. It resembles a cross between a turtle and a pangolin. It isn't fast, but its thick armor will protect it from anything. A larger and slender species lives in the North American Desert.
- Armor Is Useless: Averted - the creature's armor, the armored plates made firm from keratin, successfully protects the Rattleback from every possible threat from predators to fire. They also have a collection of short spines along sides of their bodies. These spines help anchor the Rattleback as it sinks into the ground, and are strong enough to prevent nearly anything from budging it.
- Bullying a Dragon: They eat the eggs of the vicious Carakillers. But it is justified, since the Carakillers can't get past their armored plates.
- Exactly What It Says on the Tin: They have rattles on their backs.
- Expy: Of the testadon and spine-tailed squirrel from After Man: A Zoology of the Future.
- Fantastic Fauna Counterpart: Of the pangolin, with a dash of tortoise.
- Nigh Invulnerable: Neither Carakillers or fire can kill them easily.
- Stone Wall: Rattlebacks may not be very fast, but they're not easy to kill. Nor is it easy to get past their armor.
- Super-Persistent Predator: It feeds on Carakiller's eggs and it doesn't give a damn if the parents are present.
The larger and more slender relative of the Grassland Rattleback, having migrated from South America over millions of years. In contrast to its South American cousin, this Rattleback has smaller scales, as there are less situations in which it needs protective armor, a larger tail to store fat reserves, and a coat of shaggy fur on its face to protect it from the sandstorms.
- Expy: Of the Rootsucker.
- Mama Bear: A female will charge head on against a pack of Deathgleaners to save its only calf.
Descended from the quail, this bird has taken up an extremely unusual lifestyle. It is flightless, but its wings have been reformatted into spades for digging. They live in a caste system, dwelling in massive networks of tunnels under the desert that are lead by a group of females, the queens, that are capable of determining the sex of the eggs. It has rather poor eyesight and relies on a clicking, squeaking song to communicate.
- Author Appeal: Continues the tradition of eusocial vertebrates in Dougal Dixon's work.
- Bizarre Sexual Dimorphism: The males are black and white, while females are a dull grey, pretty bizarre for a creature that's almost blind.
- Expy: Of the termite burrower from After Man: A Zoology of the Future.
- Fantastic Fauna Counterpart: Of small burrowing rodents. Its eusocial behavior in particular is based on the naked molerat.
- Hook Hand: Somewhat like the carakiller, but their "hands" are not meant to hunt, only to dig.
- Super Senses: Improved hearing and tact, to supply for the loss of sight and (probably) birds' already poor smell.
- Tunnel King: Like moles, these birds are capable of digging through the ground quickly and live in huge tunnels underground.
- Weakened by the Light: Spinks are both nocturnal and subterranean. While sunlight does not technically harm them, they keep away from it because their many predators lurking under it sure do.
A very large, carnivorous bat. Unlike most of today's bats, the Deathgleaner is completely diurnal, partly to take advantage of the warm air currents to generate lift, and partly to avoid the freezing cold nights. Taking on the role of vultures and eagles, they feed on carrion and live prey alike, preying on Spinks and the occasional juvenile Rattleback.
- Bat Out of Hell: A giant killer bat.
- Circling Vultures: They circle around like vultures, waiting for a Rattleback to accidentally dig up a Spink or two, after which they descend on the blinded bird and snatch it up.
- Diurnal Nocturnal Animal: Unlike most bats alive today, it's completely diurnal.
- Fantastic Fauna Counterpart: Of desert hawks and vultures, as well as the spectral bat (a giant carnivorous bat found today).
- Giant Flyer: Giant by bats standards anyway. They're about the size of a large hawk.
- Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Has the word "Death" in its name, and is indeed certain death to any unlucky Spinks, or any baby Rattlebacks who wander away from their parents.
100 Million Years95 million years have past since the 5 million year mark. Earth has become a very different place. The continents have moved to very different locations and there is far more greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, which is the result of extended volcanic activity. As a result, the climate is far hotter then it is today. There is also more oxygen in the atmosphere, and much less ice in the polar regions, leading to lush jungles and warm shallow seas. However this paradise is heading towards a great extinction event, one that will leave the fauna of the world unrecognizable.
An octopus that is equally at home in the water and on land. They live in close knit family groups, mostly comprised of females, and form a symbiotic partnership with a vase-shaped swamp lily, where they raise their young. They only have four tentacles, as the other four evolved into stout "rudders" they use for moving about on land. They're fiercely protective of their kids, surprisingly good at jumping, and are dangerously poisonous.
- Amazing Technicolor Wildlife: Being cephalopods, Swampuses communicate to one another, and drive away potential intruders, with a vibrant display of colors.
- Chekhov's Gun: When they're introduced, they seem to be a one-off evolutionary oddity. Then, an entire lineage of terrestrial cephalopods appears 100 million years later.
- Odd Friendship: With the swamp lily. The plant catches rainwater that protect the young Swampus from the predators in the swamp. And in return, the plant itself is protected by the Swampus family, since they will ward off any plant eater who comes to close to it.
- Poisonous Person: Have a venomous bite that's enough to kill a baby Toraton. The venom is formed when, as babies, the Swampus ingest bacteria housed inside the nursery pools they're protected in.
- Portmanteau: Swamp + Octopus.
Descended from tortoises, these creatures are huge, said to be (at the time) larger than even the biggest dinosaurs. Since it is so large, its ancestral shell has been reduced, and now serves mainly to support its massive bulk.
- Fantastic Fauna Counterpart: Of the sauropod dinosaurs. They've even evolved to have their legs positioned directly underneath them, like the actual sauropods once did, and not sticking out from sides like their ancestors.
- Kaiju: Without a doubt some of the largest animals ever to live. Their babies are even said to be as big as elephants.
- Mighty Glacier: The adults have no predators due to their formidable strength. But they can't move quickly, or mate in the traditional way. A male and a female instead mate back-to-back, where the cloacas make direct contact, allowing the male to directly deposit sperm into the female's reproductive system.
- Portmanteau: Tortoise + Teraton
- Turtle Power: Gigantic descendants of tortoises, the adults of which have no predators due to their massive size and power.
- Wham Shot: It's first introduced as an elephant-sized creature, which a swampus soon kills. Later, that's when the adults come along.
A descendant of the electric catfish, this well-camouflaged predator is incredibly sensitive. It's covered in prickly appendages, which help to disguise itself as a fallen log or tree as it rests along the river bed . It utilizes an electric field to detect whenever potential prey (usually the swampus) is swimming along. When the prey is close enough in range, the Lurkfish shocks its unlucky victim with 1000 volts of electricity, paralyzing them or outright killing them.
- Exactly What It Says on the Tin: It's a fish. It lurks in the water.
- Fantastic Fauna Counterpart: Partly of the electric eel and partly of the alligator (due to its sheer size and swamp habitat). Its face also appears to be similar to a monkfish's.
- Never Smile at a Crocodile: It's not a literal crocodile, but fills the same niche.
- Psycho Electric Eel: Electrical fishes that hunt Swampus by shocking the daylights out of them before eating them.
- Shock and Awe: The output of this creature (1000 volts) is larger then any living electrical fish today though.
A giant community of several jellyfish-like organisms living together, much like the Portuguese man-of-war of today. It is essentially an organic ship, utilizing maneuverable sails to catch the wind, and polyps on its end that propel it forward, like rudders. They prey on juvenile Reef Gliders, but are eaten by adults. It strangely reproduces by riding the fierce storms fueled by the endless expanses of warm water. The storms may break it apart, but the pieces can still continue living, and can even regrow themselves like an amoeba, provided they have one of each of the essential organisms that make up the Phantom.
- From a Single Cell: Downplayed. The Phantom needs at least one of each of the organisms that make up a functioning Ocean Phantom in order to regenerate.
- Healing Factor: If the colony breaks apart, it can regenerate itself if it has one of each of the organisms that make it up.
- The Hunter Becomes the Hunted: They prey on young Reef Gliders, but adult Reef Gliders will prey on them instead. As such, they employ Spindletroopers to act as defences against adult Reef Gliders.
- Names to Run Away from Really Fast: "Ocean Phantom" would suggest something ominous, and it is indeed to any small creatures it floats above.
- Odd Friendship: With the Spindletroopers. The Ocean Phantom allows the Spindletroopers to live within some of the bells and provides them with nutrients. In turn, the Spindletroopers help to fend off any adult Reef Gliders that feed on the Ocean Phantom.
- Planimal: The phantom's surface grows red algae in a form of symbiosis. The algae give the Phantom nutrients, while the Phantom gives the algae transportation. Despite this, it still eats juvenile Reef Gliders to balance its diet.
- The Worm That Walks: It's a colony of smaller organisms, similar to the Portuguese Man-Of-War.
Descendants of the sea spiders found in today's oceans, these creatures live within the Ocean Phantom. They act as the Phantom's personal armada, as the Phantom deploys them to fend off potential threats, much like ants do. Hacking and slashing at any creature unfortunate enough to attack the Phantom, the Spindletroopers mob intruders relentlessly until it finally leaves it alone.
- Big Creepy-Crawlies: Their legs can span a meter across.
- Giant Spider: Large sea-spiders that live on the Ocean Phantom and act as its defenses.
- Odd Friendship: With the Ocean Phantom. They live in some of the bells of the Ocean Phantom, and are provided nutrients as an incentive to protect the Phantom against adult Reef Gliders.
Enormous sea-slugs that will eat pieces of the Ocean Phantom when full grown. There are several species that live in the reefs, where their young feed on the red algae, helping the plants in pollination the same way insects pollinate land plants. Their young are preyed on by Ocean Phantoms.
- Amazing Technicolor Wildlife: Averted. Reef Gliders are not as brightly colored and less flamboyant than their ancestors, apart from their red gills.
- Fantastic Fauna Counterpart: Of various tropical fish and oddly enough, bees.
- The Hunter Becomes the Hunted: While their larvae are prey of Ocean Phantoms, the adults, which can grow as big as seals, will eat parts of the Ocean Phantom instead.
Through a combination of rising temperatures and continental drift, the icy wastelands of Antarctica have given way to an immense rainforest. This rainforest is the site of an ongoing war between two types of organisms: Flutterbirds, descendants of the sea birds that once frequented the Antarctic coast when it was still frozen, and predatory insects, that have grown massive due to the presence of more oxygen in the world's atmosphere.
Spitfire Bird/Spitfire Tree
A flutterbird that defends itself with the chemicals stored in its throat. When mixed together in its nostrils, these chemicals become caustic, and burst out of the nose in the form of jets of a burning, corrosive substance. It hovers near the flowers of the Spitfire Tree, much like a hummingbird. But instead of eating nectar, it really gathers up the needed chemicals from this plant. The tree is able to produce both male and female flowers, each with one of the Spitfire Bird's chemicals. Through visiting both flowers to refill its ammo, the bird ends up becoming a pollination service to the tree.
- Bright Is Not Good: The bird's bright yellow-and-black coloration makes it a warning to Falconflies, and for an entirely justified reason.
- Dangerous Phlebotinum Interaction: Its chemical attack is armed by taking two different compounds from Spitfire Flowers, one from a male Spitfire Tree and the other from the female Spitfire tree. When the chemicals are fired out from two different compartments, they mix with each other and become caustic. This is also why male and female flowers must carry only one chemical. Both chemicals would cause the flower carrying them to explode.
- Exactly What It Says on the Tin: It's a bird that spits fire. Well, burning chemicals.
- Feathered Fiend: Mostly harmless, unless threatened... or caught off-guard.
- Glass Cannon: Their chemical spit is lethal, but Spitfire Beetles can kill them by waiting until they run out of chemicals.
- Logical Weakness: As the bird's chemical is obtained from the Spitfire Flowers and not produced by the bird itself, its stock is finite. So it will need to be restocked when it runs out. Finding one that's trying to restock is an excellent opportunity for a Falconfly to attack, and making oneself appear to be a flower for them to restock is how Spitfire Beetles hunt them.
- Super Spit: Notably done via mixing of chemicals.
A descendant of the sand wasp, this impressive sized insect utilizes a venomous sting, razor-sharp, pointed legs to spear a flutterbird in mid-flight, and powerful jaws to tear them apart. It mainly preys on the Roachcutter, both to eat for itself, and to feed them to its larvae. Its larvae are large grubs scattered in burrows throughout the forest floor. If all the grubs were put in the same burrow, they would eat each other. As such, the Falconfly has developed an impressive memory, recognizing landmarks as to where each burrow is.
- Bee Afraid: Descended from wasps, these are predators that tear flesh off birds.
- Big Creepy-Crawlies: It's a wasp the size of a crow.
- Glass Cannon: They're fast, agile, and powerful, but the Spitfire Bird's chemical spray can subdue them.
- Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Their front legs act as spears, used to impale flutterbirds out of the air.
A flutterbird that hunts insects. The Roachcutter may be small and rather generic, but its bulging eyes give it a wide range of vision. It is also fast and agile, able to nip small insects off a branch mid-flight.
- Death by Irony: It's introduced as a flutterbird that feeds on insects... and is promptly killed by the Falconfly.
- Flat Character: Its main role in the episode is as prey for the Falconfly.
- Fragile Speedster: Its only real defense is its impressive agility. It cannot defend itself from predators, unlike the Spitfire Bird.
These beetles utilize cooperation in their day to day lives. They live primarily in groups of four, and work together to bring down their prey. They stand head to head, and open their wing cases to mimic the shape and color of the Spitfire Flower. They wait motionlessly for a Spitfire Bird looking to refuel its chemicals. When one comes close enough, the beetles lunge on it, dragging it down to the forest floor. Once the bird is dead, the carcass is shared by all four beetles.
- Big Creepy-Crawlies: Large insects capable of taking down spitfire birds.
- Chest Monster: For Spitfire birds. Four of them cooperate to appear like the Spitfire Flower, and when a Spitfire Bird gets near, they all ambush and kill it.
- Combination Attack: In order to lure and kill a Spitfire Bird, they need a group of four to make the flower and to kill the bird via overwhelming it. This is fortunate and essential for the Spitfire Beetles, as they spend their lives in groups of four.
- Death Trap: And with a bait the bird cannot afford to resist, because it needs it to defend itself from Falconflies.
False Spitfire Bird
A relative of the Spitfire Bird. Fortunately, the False Spitfire Bird is harmless, and only uses this mimicry to avoid predators.
- Ass in a Lion Skin: It imitates a Spitfire bird to avoid being preyed on by Falconflies. However, it lacks the Spitfire bird's chemical spray.
- Bright Is Not Good: Has the same bright yellow-and-black coloration as the Spitfire Bird that makes them a warning to Falconflies, even though they're actually docile.
Great Blue Windrunner
A magnificent bird of enormous size. A descendant of the crane, the bird possesses a second set of wings on its legs, that help it stay aloft in the thin air. Its blue coloration helps protect it from the harmful ultraviolet light of the plateau. It feeds on Silver Spiders, which it snatches from their webs in mid-flight
- Expy: Of the Bootie Bird.
- Giant Flyer: Though sources can't agree on its size, varying from 3 meters to 15 meters.
- Light Is Not Good: An interesting variation. The Great Blue Windrunner's magnificent blue coloration is a strategy to reflect the harmful ultraviolet light of the thin atmosphere. The bird can also see in ultraviolet, which it uses to identify different individuals of its species. This is important, as no two Windrunners have the same unique UV pattern.
- Mercury's Wings: Its legs also have wings on them for extra surface area and updrift, so it can be more maneuverable at low speeds.
Large spiders that, somewhat like certain spiders today, live in a caste system. Whatever size a certain individual is, details what function of the colony it provides. The smallest spiders, line-casters, begin the construction of their webs, that stretch across the plateau, by gliding in the air using parachutes made out of the tufts of Grass Tree seeds. The next size bigger, web-buiders, then construct the framework of the web, making them sturdy enough to catch Grass Tree seeds floating on the breeze. The next size bigger, workers, spend their lives gathering the seeds, which they then collect in stockpiles throughout their burrows. The biggest spider of the colony is the queen, the only spider allowed to breed, and is fed and cared for by the others. They are preyed upon by the Great Blue Windrunner.
- Big Creepy-Crawlies: According to the book, the queen can grow to the size of a football.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: The spiders feed the Poggle with seeds, without harming it. This is to fatten up the poor thing so that it will make a meal for the queen.
- Giant Spider: Again, they're pretty large spiders that are bigger than small mammals.
- Exactly What It Says on the Tin: They're spiders. They're silver.
- Light Is Not Good: They're silvery and bright in color. Much like the Great Blue Windrunner, their reflective color scheme protects them from the ultraviolet light. They also take care of the cute poggles.... before using said poggles as livestock for their queens.
- Spider Swarm: Unlike modern-day spiders, they function in a eusocial caste system, with workers, web-builders, and a queen.
- Vegetarian Carnivore: Subverted. They're not gathering those seeds to eat them.
One of the last, if not the last mammals on the planet. A weird-looking rodent with large, bulging eyes. It lives in the caves of the Silver Spiders, and regularly pilfers their seed reserves. The spiders seem to tolerate the Poggle's seed snatching, as if they are treating it as some kind of pet. In actuality, the Spiders are treating the Poggle as livestock, giving it more and more seeds to devour it until it's fat and nutritious enough for their queen to devour.
- Can't Kill You, Still Need You: The Poggle is vital to the survival of a Silver Spider colony. It regularly pilfers the Spiders' seed reserves, but the spiders tolerate its actions and leave it alone without harming it. This is because they want it to fatten itself up so it will make a good meal for the queen. Poggles also produce a lot of offspring, giving more flesh to be distributed throughout the colony. Female poggles are just as essential, if not moreso, as they carry hormones in their bloodstream that stimulates the queen's reproductive system, allowing her to lay more eggs to fuel the colony more efficiently.
- Crapsaccharine World: Its habitat, the burrows of the Silver Spider It keeps them safe — but only because they're saving them for later.
- Expy: Of the Eloi from The Time Machine. Last member of the lineage humanity belonged to? Check. Raised for slaughter by the world's new dominant creatures? Double check!
- Last of His Kind: It's one of the world's last species of mammal.
- Ridiculously Cute Critter: Not only does it resemble a small rodent, its bulging eyes also make it look rather adorable.
200 Million YearsA massive extinction event has come and gone 100 million years prior, and the animals left have since adapted to the new world, where the continents have once again come together to form a global super-continent. All terrestrial vertebrates have, however, gone extinct, leaving the planet to be dominated by insects, fish and mollusks. This is an entirely alien Earth now, but intelligent life is on the rise once more.
Located in the center of the new Pangaea, this immense desert is now the driest landscape ever. The only remaining water is a series of small pools, connected to an underground network of tunnels, a naturally made reservoir. A lack of rain, very few plants, and hardly any shelter from the relentless sun, life in this habitat would be nearly impossible. But despite these hardships, life does thrive here.
Descended from termites, these insects are highly efficient and highly specialized. Colonies of them live in vast towers scattered all across the desert. The towers themselves, made from a mixture of sand, feces, and other terabyte carcasses, are only a small part of the Terabyte habitat. They're often used grow algae, the Terabytes' main source of food, as they allow access to the underground reservoir and funnel in the right kinds of air for the algae to grow. As they live in a caste system, there are various forms. Gum-spitters, which immobilize other creatures with a sticky glue, water-carriers, which bloat themselves on whatever water is available to moisten the algae the terabytes farm, rock-borers, which spit concentrated acid onto the rocks below the towers to weaken them, and biters, who use powerful jaws to carve the weakened rocks into new tunnels. The last remaining caste are transporters, the only terabytes with functioning legs. Their main role is to carry the other castes on their backs, and take them to where they're needed.
- Balloon Belly: Pretty much the main task of the water-carriers. All they have to do is to drink water from the moist underground caves below. This causes them to swell up with water, after which the transporters can carry them back and use them as watering cans for their algae farm.
- Crippling Overspecialization: Quite literally in this case. The gum-spitters, water-carriers, rock-borers and queens are so specialized to the tasks they do that they have vestigial legs. They require assistance from the transporters to move around. Transporters are slightly less specialized, since they're able to cut off algal tissues from Garden Worms.
- Equippable Ally: Enforced with their evolution. Since transporters are the only caste equipped with functioning legs, they have to carry every other caste on their backs.
- Fantastic Fauna Counterpart: Of termites and leafcutter ants, descending from the former.
- Hive Mind: The entire colony functions as though it has a single mind, interconnected with all its members.
- Portmanteau/Punny Name: Terra (as in earth)+ Termite. Also, it's a pun on the word terabyte.
- Sticky Situation: One form is able to shoot a sticky substance onto Garden Worms, trapping them so that the other Terabytes can harvest the algae.
- Too Important to Walk: Every caste that isn't a transporter has vestigial legs, and cannot move around without being carried by transporters.
- Zerg Rush: Being evolved from termites, terabytes tend to group together in order to restrict a Garden Worm and harvest its algae.
A strange worm that resembles a fern. Much like it's ancestor, the convoluta worm, the Garden Worm forms a special relationship with green algae. The wide appendages at its sides help the algae in its skin gather sunlight, which turns into nutrition for the worm. From time to time, Garden Worms are captured by Terabyte raiding parties, where the gum-spitters spray their glue over it. When the worm is restricted, the terabytes crop whatever algae they can from its algae lobes for their algae gardens. A Garden Worm can also free itself from the Terabytes' chemical weapons with its own chemical defense: a secretion it produces from in between its segments that dissolves the terabytes' glue. Whenever it's not sunbathing, it lives in the dark underwater caves, where it's vulnerable to being preyed upon by the Slickribbon. If it's being pursued by a Slickribbon, if can spew a cloud of obnoxious liquid right into its path.
- Big Creepy-Crawlies: Large worms with algal structures.
- Planimal: They're worms with fern-shaped appendages that store algae, allowing said algae to photosynthesize and give the worm nutrients.
- Smoke Out: Sort of. It can spray an opaque cloud of nasty tasting/smelling fluid to disorient any Slickribbons chasing after it.
Rather plain creatures, Gloomworms often spend their lives swimming in the vast underground reservoir of the desert, eating the bioluminescent bacteria that provide light. They're also a food source for the Slickribbon. They're descended from bristle worms, the only marine worms that remained after the mass extinction. Over time, they settled into the various water-filled cave systems. Eventually, bristle worms evolved into multiple new species of worms.
- Big Creepy-Crawlies: They're around half a metre long.
- Flat Character: They aren't touched upon as much as the other creatures, largely because they don't have any unique features.
The top-predator in the darkened, underwater caves of the desert. A large predatory worm that carries a deadly weapon: a powerful clasping jaw, mounted on an extendable trunk. It catches other swimmers such as Gloomworms with this deadly maw, which it can extend in a fraction of a second.
- Big Creepy-Crawlies: Even larger than Garden Worms and Gloomworms.
- Nested Mouths: Its jaw is connected to an extendable trunk. And it uses that to catch Gloomworms and Garden Worms.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Gives up the chase against the Garden Worm after the Garden Worm sprays a cloud of disgusting fluid to disorient it and escape.
These are curious creatures, descended from larval crustaceans that practiced neoteny (the ability to breed in a larval stage). There are numerous species of them swimming all over the global sea. Some are predators, some are scavengers, and others are filter-feeders. They have occupied the niche formerly filled by fish, but are themselves prey for Flish.
- Big Creepy-Crawlies: Compared to their modern-day counterparts, they're gigantic. Some of them get as big as whales.
- Exactly What It Says on the Tin: They swim. They're silver. At least, one species shown is silver.
- Fantastic Fauna Counterpart: Of fish. Oddly, fish still exist, but have become their predators.
- Giant Enemy Crab: They're massive compared to modern crab larvae.
- Older Than They Look: An unusual case. They apparently evolved from crustaceans that developed the ability to breed at the free-floating larval stage, rather than the adult stage.
While gone from the seas, fish are still very much in evidence in this new ecosystem. However, these peculiar fish, descended from cod, evolved to breathe air and even fly, taking over the skies after the birds went extinct. Sometimes, they may get flung by the global sea's hypercanes all the way to the Rainshadow Desert, where they they'll certainly perish under the hot sun. But in doing so, their carcasses, collectively referred to as "flishwrecks", play a vital part in the desert's ecosystem.
- Fantastic Fauna Counterpart: Of seabirds.
- Flying Seafood Special: Unlike today's flying fish, who can only glide, Flish can achieve true powered flight.
- Nested Mouths: Ocean flish contain protusible jaws, designed to snatch and grab Silverswimmers beneath the waves.
- Portmanteau/Punny Name: Flying + Fish.
This absolutely colossal cephalopod is the biggest thing in the Global Ocean. Like its ancestors, it utilizes special muscles controlled by the nervous system called chromatophores to change color. This squid, however, has a much more developed brain, and utilizes its color changing abilities to its benefit. It can disguise itself as a shoal of Silverswimmers to lure Flish to dive towards it, then using a tentacle to snatch them out of the sky. They gather in the shallows every year on the night of the autumnal equinox to breed, with males competing among one another each other to produce the brightest color displays. Unlike their ancestors, who die when they mate and lay their eggs, Rainbow Squid don't follow this "coded death" after breeding. They can even live for as long as a century. Sadly, their size doesn't always protect them, as a certain predator can overcome its color changing abilities.
- Amazing Technicolor Wildlife: With a name like "Rainbow Squid", this trope is a must.
- Chameleon Camouflage: It can turn "invisible" by changing itself blue, blending in with the ocean's surface. Unfortunately this does little to help against Sharkopaths with super smell and electrical detection.
- Chest Monster: Acts as these to Flish. They use their color changing ability to simulate a shoal of Silverswimmers. Any unlucky Flish that takes the bait will get grabbed by a huge tentacle instead.
- Exactly What It Says on the Tin: It's a squid that can change into any colour. Modern squids are already very close to this.
- Fantastic Fauna Counterpart: Of the giant squid. Perhaps also of whales.
- Giant Squid: It's a huge squid that preys on Flish, and also can change into colors that modern squids can't change into.
- Invisibility: Attempts this against Sharkopaths, turning itself blue to blend in with the ocean's surface. It doesn't work. Not only because the sharks can smell it, but can also detect the electrical impulses of its nervous system. This causes the squid to panic and give up its invisibility, frantically changing different colors until the sharks close in for the kill.
- Invisibility Flicker: When they panic and give up their disguise.
- Long-Lived: Unlike modern squids, they don't die after mating, and can in fact live for a century because of that.
Sharks are tough and resilient creatures. They've not only evolved long before the dinosaurs, but they have survived several mass extinctions in Earth's history. The Sharkopath is no exception. As the only fish still clinging to water in the Global Ocean, it's the most advanced and ferocious form of shark ever to live. Unlike today's sharks, it hunts in groups, partly because of the advantage of strength in numbers, and partly because the sea of the future is so immense, so this helps to cover more distance to search for food. It uses bioluminescence patches on its sides to signal to its fellow sharks as to when it finds food. The closer that potential prey is, the faster the markings flash.
- Bioluminescence Is Cool: They have a bioluminiscent trail of markings on their sides, which can be used to confuse targets and direct the group to potential food. The markings flash faster whenever food is close by.
- Fantastic Fauna Counterpart: Of the shark, obviously.
- Light Is Not Good: They have ridges of yellow bioluminscence markings to signal to their own kind and confuse their targets, and are vicious apex predators who hunt and kill the relatively gentle Rainbow Squids.
- Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Being named after both Shark and Psychopath generally is something to be afraid of.
- The Nose Knows: They find the Rainbow Squid by tracking down its scent in the water.
- Portmanteau/Punny Name: Shark + Psychopath
- Super Senses: Like today's sharks, they can trace electrical signals, a sense they use to overcome the Rainbow Squid's Invisibility Cloak. The ridges on their heads are full of sensory organs, making them more efficient at this trait than today's sharks.
- Threatening Shark: The apex predator of the Global sea. They hunt in huge packs, cooperating in taking down something as huge as a Rainbow Squid.
- Zerg Rush: Unlike most other sharks, these hunt in huge numbers, since food is more spread apart. They cooperate by using bioluminescent signals to alert the others of any nearby Rainbow Squids, before they converge on and overwhelm their bigger prey through the advantage of power in numbers.
A truly bizarre being. Despite its size and appearance, it's actually a snail. A modern snail's foot is a powerful muscle that is coated in mucus to assist in locomotion. To prevent the creation of this mucus, since water is far too important to waste, the Hopper's foot has evolved into an entire leg. This single leg gives the Hopper an advantage, since jumping allows it to cover great distances in search of food. It also has tough, scaly skin to assist in the prevention of secreting slime. Like modern snails, the Desert Hopper has a radula, a tongue coated in rows of tiny, hook like teeth, to eat its food. The Hopper's radula, however, is razor-sharp, allowing it to dig through the hard cuticles of what little edible plants can survive in the desert, so it can reach the water tissues inside. A Desert Hopper is particularly active in the night. During the day, it keeps itself cool by burying itself in the soil. When the sun goes down, they rise out of the ground shell-first, then begin bouncing to whatever plants are available.
- Big Creepy-Crawlies: A rabbit-sized snail that uses a single foot to hop around.
- Bizarre Alien Locomotion: It hops around on its single foot instead of crawling on the ground. This is fortunate for the creature, as water is too important a resource to waste in its environment.
- Exactly What It Says on the Tin: It hops through the desert.
An rather peculiar insect, with a rather peculiar life cycle. The Bumblebeetle spends its life in a race against the clock. It can only live for exactly one day. And it spends that one day flying over the desert in the hopes of finding a "flishwreck". No two Bumblebeetles can share a carcass, and if two of them come across the same one, they engage in an aerial dogfight over it. The carcass is the essential place where the Bumblebeetle releases its young: large carnivorous maggots known as Grimworms. After splitting its abdomen open to release the Grimworms, the Bumblebeetle then dies. The Grimworms then spend every moment they can, munching away at the carcass. Grimworms also practice neoteny, mating before they reach adulthood. During mating, the largest female Grimworm actually eats all of the males, then digs itself underground to pupate. As a result, every single Bumblebeetle is female, and already pregnant with new Grimworms.
- Big Eater: Grimworms spend all of their lives eating the Flish carcass they live in. It's actually the first thing they do when they crawl inside the Flish carcass. As an advantage to their impressive gluttony, they have three sets of jaws, slicing and grinding any meat they can sink into. Females also eat males during mating. This is sharply averted with the adult Bumblebeetle. It's unable to eat anything, since it lacks a functioning mouth. The closest thing it has to eating is the ability to digest its fat reserves on the wing.
- Bizarre Alien Reproduction:
- Grimworms reach maturity and mate as larvae, and can even reproduce via parthenogenesis. Unfertilized eggs will develop into identical Grimworms.
- The adult Bumblebeetle does not lay eggs. Grimworms hatch and develop within the parent. When an adult releases the Grimworms into a suitable Flish carcass, its abdomen splits open and it dies shortly after.
- Death by Childbirth: Once it finds a suitable and vacant Flish carcass, the Bumblebeetle will break its abdomen apart to release the Grimworms. It does this so the Grimworms can get out of the sun, and crawl inside the carcass to begin eating it straight-away. It dies shortly after this task, completing its sole purpose.
- Fantastic Fauna Counterpart: Of flies and mayflies.
- One-Gender Race: All adult Bumblebeetles are female. This is because female Grimworms are the only ones that live long enough to pupate, since they eat all the males when mating.
- Portmanteau/Punny Name: Bumblebee + Beetle.
- Your Days Are Numbered: An adult Bumblebeetle can only live for 24 hours. And to raise the stakes higher, it's unable to eat properly, lacking mouth parts and having only a rudimentary digestive system filled with fat reserves. It uses that one day to find a Flish carcass to deposit the Grimworms it's carrying inside itself.
Since water and quality soil are practically nonexistent in the Rainshadow Desert, the plants here have to take drastic measures to function. Among the most successful and hazardous of these plants, is the Deathbottle. It feeds on Desert Hoppers with a crafty trapping system. A Hopper is first lured to the leaf covered stems of the plant, then suddenly falls into a hole in the sand. This hole is actually the Deathbottle's feeding chamber, and its walls are lined with poisonous spikes. Over time, the spikes begin closing in on the struggling Hopper, eventually piercing the snail, and allowing digestive juices to start breaking it down. To reset the trap, the plant regrows the thin membrane above the entrance to its feeding chamber, and waits for it to become covered in sand. For reproduction, the Deathbottle also makes use of a different creature: Bumblebeetles looking for "flishwrecks" to deposit their Grimworms in. To this end, the Deathbottle grows flowers that mimic the appearance and stench of a rotting Flish. After a while, a Bumblebeetle will notice the flower, and crawl into a hole in its center, cleverly made to look like a flesh wound. Inside the flower is another chamber, one full of sticky seeds. The Bumblebeetle will begin flying around the chamber looking for an escape. In the process, the seeds become stuck to its abdomen. The Deathbottle also has a built-in eject-mechanism for getting rid of the Bumblebeetle. When the insect hits a certain spot in the seed chamber, the plant tosses the Bumblebeetle out. When engaging in a dogfight over a "flishwreck", the seeds coating the Bumblebeetle become loose, and land in the ground next to the carcass, as they are the only nutrition in this harsh environment.
- Chest Monster: For Bumblebeetles. Thankfully, it doesn't harm them, only covering them in seeds. Its manner of preying on Desert Hoppers also qualifies, since it uses its own leaves as bait for them.
- Death Trap: Any Desert Hopper that lands into it is killed by the spikes within. These spikes begin to contract over time, so that it will be eventually pierced. Bumblebeetles are thankfully more lucky. They only get covered in seeds within another special chamber before the plant punts it out.
- Shout-Out: To the Saarlac Pit from Star Wars.
- Spikes of Doom: The spikes that line the walls of its feeding chamber are poisonous, and are used to kill any unlucky Desert Hopper that lands inside.
- Trap Door: It covers its "lid" with sand to make it resemble the ground. Unwary Desert Hoppers will jump onto that, and fall within into spiky doom.
A member of the Terrasquids, this elephant-sized cephalopod is the giant of the forest. A solitary creature, the Megasquid spends its life shuffling along the forest floor, looking for food to please its endless hunger. Being boneless, eight of its tentacles have evolved to become pillar-like legs, supported entirely by muscle. It is also able to emit calls through a bladder on its forehead, filled with thin membranes that are vibrated by the air it breathes. Omnivorous and not in the least choosy, it happily devours anything it can catch, a trait that is utilized by different organisms.
- Bizarre Alien Locomotion: It isn't easy to move on eight legs that are completely boneless. To avoid tripping over itself, the Megasquid moves by moving the second and third legs on one side of its body in unison with the first and fourth on the other side, producing a gait not seen in any animal alive today.
- Extreme Omnivore: It is indeed omnivorous, eating anything it can get its tentacles on, from Lichen Fruits to baby Squibbon. The Slithersucker makes use of this to propagate itself. It disguises itself as a Lichen Fruit, and when the Megasquid devours it, it hijacks the squid's brain, driving it insane and forcing it to "sneeze", propelling chunks of it onto trees, so it can regrow itself.
- Fantastic Fauna Counterpart: Of the elephant.
- Giant Squid: Elephant-sized land-bound squid, to be more precise.
- Shout-Out: To the obscure Kaiju Gezora from the movie Space Amoeba. At least, the two sure do look similar.
- Vegetarian Carnivore: Well, maybe not outright "vegetarian", but it's a squid that's decided to add fruit to its diet.
A unique organism, the Slitherslucker isn't a plant or an animal. It's actually a slime mold, a community of single celled organisms that move and operate as one being, similar to the ones of today. Over millions of years, the Slithersucker has evolved to become more adapted to whatever the forest throws at it. It takes on the shape of Lichen Fruits, a favorite snack of the Megasquid. Once eaten, it then makes its way into the Megasquid's brain, controlling the animal until it reaches a specific destination. Upon arrival, the Slithersucker makes the squid sneeze, making the squid spew chunks of the slime mold out of its vocal sac. This is how it spreads, as the expelled chunks grow into new Slithersuckers. The Slithersucker is also predatory, draping itself on the branch of a Lichen Tree to catch any Forest Flish that flies into its path. Once a Forest Flish is caught in the slimy curtain, the Slithersucker begins utilizing digestive juices to enjoy its meal.
- Blob Monster: They're a form of slime mold. 200 million years have made it more... everything. Bigger, creepier, and even smarter.
- Puppeteer Parasite: It fools a Megasquid into eating it by disguising itself as a Lichen Fruit. Once inside, the slime mold hitches a ride with the Megasquid, hijacking its brain to take it where it wants to go.
- Shapeshifter: Like today's slime molds, it's able to change its form into different objects, such as the Lichen Fruits that the Megasquid prefers. This is how it can get inside the Megasquid to control it, and ends up using the Megasquid to spread itself around.
- Sticky Situation: Any Forest Flish that ends up flying into its sticky tendrils will get stuck and digested.
The smaller and more colorful cousins of Ocean Flish. Like Ocean Flish, these fish have left the water completely to fill the niche of birds, and their pectoral fins have become wings. Unlike Ocean Flish, Forest Flish have had their pelvic fins evolve into hooks. These hooks help them in a large way, since they roost upside-down on branches like today's bats. Like the birds today, they fill the forest with their songs. The only difference is that their chirps are more reminiscent of grasshoppers than of birds.
- Fantastic Fauna Counterpart: They fill the same role as tropical birds. Though in comparison with their size, they also fill the niche of butterflies.
- Flying Seafood Special: Like Flish, they're capable of flight, and even hang upside down like bats.
Another kind of Terrasquid, these cephalopods are the opposite of the Megasquid in every way. They're small, incredibly active, and live in large numbers. Squibbon live high in the forest canopy, jumping and swinging around on the branches like today's gibbons. They're actually even more flexible than gibbons since they have no bones to impede movement. Unlike the Megasquid, Squibbon have their eyes mounted on stalks, which they can extend to vastly improve their range of sight. Squibbon are an evolutionary miracle. They're not only the smartest animals in the forest, but they're even the most intelligent lifeforms since humans. They have a complex form of communication, live large in social groups with parents, sibling, and relatives, and have even developed the capacity to learn, training and playing at a young age by swinging in the branches helps to sharpen their senses as they grow. With all these advantages at their disposal, it's heavily implied that Squibbon will eventually become the next dominant species of planet Earth.
- Abnormal Ammo: They can throw random stuff like branches and fruit at the Megasquid.
- Big Damn Heroes: When they save their young from a Megasquid.
- Edible Ammunition: They won't hesitate to mob any Megasquid that captures their young.
- Fantastic Fauna Counterpart: Of apes, particularly gibbons and chimpanzees.
- Mama Bear/Papa Wolf: Squibbon are very protective of family members, especially children. If a young Squibbon gets caught by a Megasquid, the entire group will attack it, pelting it with objects until the captured Squibbon is recued.
- Portmanteau: Squid + Gibbon
- Zerg Rush: In contrast to the solitary Megasquid, the Squibbons use numbers to confront danger.
The Animated SeriesThe animated series stars a team of human teenagers (and their pet Squibbon) exploring the different time periods mentioned above and encountering the strange lifeforms that inhabit them. Virtually all the creatures mentioned above appear in the cartoon as well.
- Voiced by: Ashley Peters
A cautious and logical teenage girl who hails from the year 12000 AD, in which humanity is threatened by the onset of an Ice Age (although not the one of 5 million years into the future). She has been sent by her father through time on the Time Flyer in order to search for a new habitat for humanity.
- Voiced by: Miranda Jones
One of three teenagers from the year 2000 who joined C.G. on her mission after she accidentally arrived in that time period. Sweet and gentle, she is very fond of animals, especially Squibby.
- Voiced by: Marc Donato
The second of the trio of teenagers from 2000 who have joined C.G. on her time-travelling mission. He is daring and adventurous, almost always willing to take on the most daring tasks.
- Voiced by: Taylor Abrahamse
The last member of the teenage trio from 2000 who accompany C.G. into the future. Arguably the most intelligent of the group, he prefers to remain in the Time Flyer rather than explore the different environments the crew encounter.
- Voiced by: Richard Binsley
A Squibbon who serves as the Team Pet. He snuck on board the Time Flyer when C.G.'s first expedition took her to the Northern Forests of 200 million years into the future. Like all the creatures that appear in the cartoon, he engages in Animal Talk.
- Voiced by: Cedric Smith
C.G.'s unnamed father, who constructed the Time Flyer and assigns C.G.on different missions to different time periods. He is unaware of Squibby's presence aboard the ship but he doesn't really approve of C.G. bringing along present-day humans (or "primitives" as he calls them) along with her.