The land animals on Twylo have evolved from
creatures found in its oceans. Some have developed from shelled
creatures living in water to shelled creatures living on land.
Some still show traits common to their ancestors, while others
have changed in such a drastic fashion that they no longer resemble
their early relatives. Their reproductive capabilities are also
somewhat evolved from their ancestors. No matter which group the
current animals belong to, they may be placed in one of three
basic categories for description:
The group of Herbivores includes by definition any animals which eat only plant matter. Many in this group have evolved from the shelled ocean dwellers, such as the Ostraca. They worked their way onto land, some shedding their shells for greater mobility. Animals in this group can be small or large in size, but all dine primarily on only one to two types of plants during their lifetime. Thus, they are quite accustomed to remaining in a rather small area, rarely venturing to spots where the climate might make their favorite foods scarce.
Two Herbivores which are present today on Twylo
are the Riman and the Kwaina. The Riman is a smallish, four legged
animal with a pointed, barbed tail. It lives in the colder regions
of Twylo, and feeds on the Zinfy plant (a grass-like plant). It
is quite agile, scurrying on the ground as it avoids its enemies
(primarily Nefters) while in search of food. The Kwaina is larger,
has both a prehensile tail and opposable thumbs. It has the capability
to walk on its hind legs for short lengths of time, although it
spends most of its time in the trees, feeding on Zycamore leaves.
It lives in the warmer regions of Twylo, near the equator.
The reproductive similarities of the two are striking. Both give birth to live young after a gestation period of 4 months., as opposed to their ancestors use of egg laying to achieve parenthood. Both tend to their offspring for approximately one year, until they are ready to fend for themselves. However, they differ in one major respect. The Riman, once it has left the family, is now seen as a competitor for food and is viewed as an outsider. The Kwaina, on the other hand, is always part of the family, even into advanced age.
Carnivores are those animals which eat meat
only. These animals evolved initially from a group of fishes.
This evolutionary process brought about the development of many,
many species, from bird-like to wolf-like, and greatly increased
the number of land animals located on planet Twylo. The carnivore
group consists mostly of large or very large animals. This size
advantage is essential when hunting food which may quite mobile
and/or able to resist being used as food.
Examples of Carnivores are the Kefra and the
Polra. The Kefra is a four-legged, cat-like creature. It has long
fangs for tearing flesh, and is quite swift, reaching speeds of
55 kilometers-per-hour for short bursts and climbing trees in
order to catch one of its favorite foods, the Kwaina. It lives
only in the warmer regions of Twylo. The Polra is extremely large
and bear-like. It lives in the colder recesses of Twylo and requires
extensive amounts of food. It eats many different types of animals,
from the Nefter to the Riman and the Hirpod (fish). Polras can
reach 3 meters in height, and weigh 600 Kgs. Both of these animals
give birth to live young, and tend to them for at least three
years before they are forced to fend for themselves. The gestation
period for the Polra is 7 months., while that of the Kefra is
The Omnivore group includes all animals which
will eat both plants and animals. Being the largest of the three
groups, it contains ground and tree dwellers and evolved from
various sources. Some can trace their ancestors to shelled ocean
creatures, while others are the descendants of fish.
Two of the Omnivores on Twylo are the Nefter
and the Silma. The Nefter is a four-legged raccoon sized creature
which eats ground covering (zinfy grass) and the Riman. It can
grow to a height of 30 cm. and weigh about 20 kgs. It is usually
dark in color. The Silma is a medium-sized bear-like creature
which feeds on the Kwaina and leaves from various bushes and shrubs.
They are approximately 50 cm. tall and weigh 45 kgs. when mature.
Both of these animals have teeth which are adapted to the eating
of both flesh and plant material. Reproductive cycles of these
animals differ from most others on Twylo. The Nefter is a marsupial
animal. That is, the young are born live, but then spend time
in a pouch on the mother's stomach before being released to be
on their own. This time period is about 15 months for the Nefter.
The Silma, on the other hand, is born live to the mother, but
is nursed to maturity by the father. It spends the first 6 months.
of its life attached to the father's back, only venturing away
when the father is feeding and or bathing itself. The Nefter lives
in the cold weather regions, while the Silma lives in the tropics.