cathemeral

“Comparisons between the scleral rings of Velociraptor, Protoceratops, and modern birds and reptiles indicates that Velociraptor may have been nocturnal, while Protoceratops may have been cathemeral, active throughout the day during short intervals, suggesting that the fight may have occurred at twilight or during low-light conditions.”

can this show get ANYTHING right

An excerpt from the zoological text The Hunter’s Encyclopedia of Animals (First Edition).
Glossary

A

acuomotor reflex The inflation of the gobul’s spines by taking in water and air into its elastic stomach, in order to expand its body.

aestivation (L. aestivare, from aestās, summer) A state of dormancy or torpor induced by high temperatures and arid conditions. Characterized by inactivity and a lowered metabolic rate.

agonism (Gr. agōnistēs, combatant) An offensive action or threat directed toward another organism.

ailuromorphic (Gr. aílouros, cat, + morphḗ, form) A pseudowyvern with features superficially reminiscent of felids. This includes (but is not limited to) a feathery integument analogous to a pelt, rictal bristles functionally similar to vibrissae, and obligate carnivory.

allogenic engineer Organisms that modify their biophysical environment by changing living or nonliving material.

alpenstock The barioth’s epidermal protrusions on the leading edge of the wings, knees, and lateral sides of the tail. Used for traction atop ice. Synonyms include “spine” and “spike.”

anapsid (Gr. an-, without, + apsis, arch) Amniotes in which the skull lacks temporal fenestrae, with turtles the only living representatives.

anautogeny A condition found in insects where a gravid female must feed on blood before oviposition in order for the eggs to mature.

angiosperm Seed-producing, fruit-bearing, flowering plants.

anisodactyl The arrangement of digits wherein three toes face forward and are accompanied by a single back-facing toe.

anthrax A lethal disease caused by the bacterium Bacillus anthracis. Anthrax can occur in three forms: epidermal, respiratory, and intestinal.

apex predator Carnivorous animals that occupy the highest trophic levels and have a disproportionate influence on the health of their ecosystem.

aratrum (L. arātrum, plough) The cranial bone of the barroth, comprised of trabecular tissue and enlarged sinuses. This structure houses the nasal cavities and supports five dorsally-located nares. The namesake for the eponymous genus Aratrum.

B

benthos (Gr. depth of the sea) Organisms that live along the bottom of seas and lakes; adj., benthic.

biological species concept A reproductive community of populations (reproductively isolated from others) that occupies a specific niche in nature.

biome (Gr. bíos, life, + -ōma, body) Communities of plants and animals characterized by climatic and soil conditions; the largest ecological unit.

C

caelincolid (L. caelum, sky, + incola, inhabitant) Any species belonging to the family Caelincolidae.

capillaturid (L. capillātūra, false hair) Any species belonging to the superfamily Capillaturoidea. Named for their plumage, which is often compared to fur on mammals. Also known as “wig wyverns.”

cathemeral An organism that demonstrates sporadic intervals of activity during the day or night.

CDIHG The Conservation Division of the International Hunters’ Guild. A group that assesses a species’ susceptibility to extinction, by monitoring populations and establishing criteria for Red List placement. Established forty years ago in response to loss of biodiversity, due to overhunting and anthropogenic ecosystem destruction.

cephalovelos (Gr. kephalé, head, + vélos, arrow) The ribbed hood structure found on the lagiacrus’ head, studded with electroreceptors on its ventral surface.

chitinase (Gr. khitṓn, tunic) Hydrolytic enzymes that break down glycosidic bonds in chitin, most commonly found in bacteria and fungi, and to a lesser extent, plants and some animals.

cloaca (L. cloāca, sewer) The posterior orifice that houses the openings for the digestive, reproductive, and urinary tracts.

conflagrant tube A mucus-lined tubular organ that connects the flame sac to an opening in the oral cavity, where the byproduct waste gas can be expelled through the mouth.

conspecific A member of the same species.

coprophagy The consumption of fecal matter.

convergent evolution See homoplasy.

crepuscular An organism that is active at twilight (dawn and dusk).

crypsis The ability of an animal to avoid detection through methods such as camouflage, nocturnality, subterranean lifestyle, and mimicry. Involves visual, olfactory, and auditory concealment.

D

dagger [†] A typographical symbol that, when used next to a name, indicates death or extinction. Also called an obelisk.

desiccation The state of extreme dryness, or the state of drying.

diapsid (Gr. di-, two, + apsis, arch) Amniotes in which the skull bears two pairs of temporal fenestrae, including birds and reptiles (barring turtles).

dog wyvern Any theropod species belonging to the family Vipracanidae. Includes the genera Magnaraptor (the greats) and Dromos (the dromes).

E

ectoparasite Parasites that live on the outside of the host.

ectothermic (Gr. ektós, outside, + thermē, heat) An organism that cannot internally maintain its body temperature and must rely on external sources of heat to moderate metabolic rates. “Cold-blooded.”

elaiopteral gland (Gr. élaio, oil, + pterón, wing) An oil-secreting gland found on the inner forearm (antebrachial) of pseudowyverns in Capillaturoidea. The gland secretion is conveyed to the surface in hollow ducts, terminating at a modified spur. Used for maintenance of feather integrity, pheromone production, and waterproofing.

elder dragon A catch-all term applied to unrelated species with similar cultural and religious significance, capable of posing high-level threats to human populations. The term elder dragon is often a misnomer, used to describe very specific organisms from groups such as the squamates, cephalopods, and perissodactyls.

electrocyte Flat disc-shaped cells stacked in thousands that function by pumping sodium and potassium ions.

electrogenesis The biological generation of electricity by living organisms.

electroreception The ability to perceive ambient electrical stimuli.

electroreceptor Sense organs located in the skin used for electrolocation.

endothermic (Gr. endon, within, + thermē, heat) An organism that can internally maintain its body temperature by balancing metabolic heat production by heat loss. “Warm-blooded.”

epibiont An organism that lives on the surface of an organism, typically in a commensalistic relationship.

euryhaline A species that has a tolerance to a wide range of salinities.

exsanguination Sufficient blood loss, normally to the point of death.

extant When a species is still existing.

extinct When a species is no longer in existence. Extinction is typically decided by the death of the last individual of a species.

F

Fatalis Trinity An occult religion practiced the world over. Its chief deities are the Fatalis Brethren (species of the genus Fatum), whose worshippers believe that they are living gods reincarnated in the form of six-limbed dragons. Their Temple maxim is “Damus nostra fāta tibi.”

fire gurgling An agonistic display seen in raths and espinas. The animal will release small concentrations of methane that ignites on contact with a hypergolic chemical secreted by modified venom glands, causing tendrils of fire to ooze from its jaws.

fire regime The pattern, frequency, and intensity of wildfires prevailing within an area. Fire regimes are an integral component of fire ecology, and the interactions between fire and biotic/abiotic components of an ecosystem.

flame sac An organ connected to the stomach of raths and espinas, used for storing methane produced by microbial bacteria during the breakdown of roughage.

formic acid A carboxylic acid synthesized by ants in the family Formicidae, transmitted by sting from a modified ovipositor, spray ejected from the abdomen, or autothysis.

formicary An ants’ nest.

frenzy virus A viral disease that causes heightened aggression and acute inflammation of the brain after a period of incubation. The pathogen modifies its host’s mortality and behavior long enough to facilitate its transmission to other hosts. The shagaru magara is its primary vector.

frost sac An organ derived from a heavily-modified foregut, found in the mountain barioth. The stomach oil stored within can be ejected in a forceful spray, which then rapidly cools once exposed to frigid temperatures.

G

gaster The bulbous posterior portion of the metasoma found in hymenopterans.

Gause’s law An ecological principle which states that species competing for the same resource cannot coexist if all ecological factors are constant. If one species has an advantage over the other, then the less fit species will either undergo extinction or an evolutionary or behavioral shift toward a different niche.

H

haemal arch A bony arch on the underside of tail vertebra.

heterodont (Gr. heteros, different, + odous, tooth) Having teeth differentiated into incisors, canines, and molars for different purposes.

heterogeneity A property ascribed to environments with a mix of uneven concentrations of multiple species (biological), terrain formations (geological), or environmental characteristics (meteorological).

homoplasy The emergence of a characteristic or adaptation shared by a set of species but not present in their ancestors, acquired independently by unrelated groups.

hydrophyte Plants with specific adaptations for living in aquatic or marine environments, submerged, on the surface, or in proximity to water.

hyperphagia (Gr. hupér, over, + -phágos, eater) A preliminary stage to heterothermy, in which an organism will gorge in order to increase its body weight. It will then subsist off of the accumulated fat reserves during its seasonal metabolic depression.

I

immunohistochemistry The process of detecting antigens in cells by observing the principle of antibodies binding to target antigens in tissue segments.

insectivory A diet of a carnivorous organism consisting chiefly of arthropods.

International Hunters’ Guild An organization whose jurisdiction supersedes that of any government. Its foremost goal is to act as a support network for hunters, while providing education, medical attention, and economic opportunity to people. Abbreviated as IHG.

J

K

keystone species A species (typically a predator) whose removal leads to reduced species diversity within the community, and the cessation of the entire ecosystem.

kinsect Any number of domesticated neopteron species trained by hunters for insectry (Fr. insecterie, from insecte + -erie).

L

leviathan Any species belonging to the order Arcacollum, defined by the characteristic arched neck. The term has also been inaccurately applied to suchians such as the nibelsnarf.

lynian A member of the species Felis comes. The term is not exclusively used with actual lynians, and can refer to bipedal organisms with humanoid characteristics such as the urukis and shakalakas (relatives of the human and wyverian).

M

Mandibulaformia (L. mandibula, jaw, + fōrma, shape) A genus of flying wyverns characterized by an ossified protrusion of the jaw. While they serve no function in prey-capture or mechanical digestion, the sickle-shaped appendages are thought to be used in intraspecific communication.

membranalan (L. membrāna, skin, + āla, wing) An organism from a clade of nonavian theropods. Characterized by membraned wings (with or without feathers), bipedalism, and endothermy.

motion parallax A monocular depth cue discerned through the proximity of objects, and how fast they appear to move relative to the viewer.

N

necrosis The death of cells and/or tissues within an organism due to disease, injury, or failure of the circulatory system.

necrotoxin Toxins that cause necrosis (death) in all cells they encounter and destroy all tissue types. Transmitted through the bloodstream.

nictitating membrane A transparent or translucent third eyelid. Protects the eye from UV exposure, debris, water, snow, and impact damage.

O

olfaction The sense of smell.

ovoviviparity A mode of reproduction in which the embryos that develop inside eggs are hatched and retained within the body without a placental connection to the mother.

P

paradraconian (Gr. rapá, para, beside, + drákōn, dragon) See pseudowyvern.

patagium A membranous structure that assists an animal in gliding or flight. It is found in bats, birds, some dromaeosaurs, pterosaurs, gliding animals, true wyverns, pseudowyverns, bird wyverns, and dragons.

pentadactyl (Gr. pénte, five, + dáktulos, finger) The condition of having five digits on each limb.

phalange Digital long bones found in the hands and feet of most vertebrates.

photophore A light-emitting organ found of various marine animals that appear as luminous areas on the skin.

phylogeny (Gr. phylon, tribe, race, + geneia, origin) The origin and diversification of any taxon, or the evolutionary history of its origin and diversification, usually presented in the form of a dendrogram.

piscivory A diet of a carnivorous organism consisting chiefly of fish.

pneumatization The formation of air-filled cavities in hard tissues such as bone.

praesidiosaur (L. praesidium, fortress, + Gr. sauros, lizard) Any species belonging to the clade Praesidiosauria.

prenuptial hunt A behavioral assessment demonstrated by raths, in which a courting pair will hunt a prey item together. The success of the outcome determines whether or not the rathian will form a monogamous pair with the suitor rathalos.

proventriculus The narrow, glandular region of the stomach located between the crop and gizzard that uses enzymes to commence digestion, and/or stores food. Also called the foregut.

pseudowyvern (Gr. pseudḗs, lying) An organism from a clade of nonavian theropods. Characterized by membraned wings (with or without feathers), pronograde posture (quadrupedalism), and endothermy.

Q

R

receding rhampotheca A keratinized epidermal sheath found in many non-avian theropod lineages, thought to have once formed a full or semi-complete beak in ancestral species.

riparian zone The interface between land and rivers/streams, characterized by a high biodiversity of hydrophilic plants along the banks and river margin.

ruminant (L. ruminare, to chew the cud) Cud-chewing artiodactyl mammals with a complex four-chambered stomach.

S

satellite colony In hymenopterans: Small, outlying colonies staffed with soldier-caste ants that encircle the larger, central colony.

scutum (L. scūtum, shield) A chitinous extension of the pronotum, found on altaroths. Acts as an esophageal blockage when swallowed by barroths, and protects the head region when the altaroth sprays formic acid toward its anterior end.

shellshocker An electric organ derived from modified nerve tissue, located on the medial region of the lagiacrus’ spine.

symbiosis (Gr. sún, with, + bíos, life) The living together of two different species in an intimate relationship. Symbiont always benefits; host may benefit, be unaffected, or be harmed (mutualism, commensalism, and parasitism).

synapsid (G. synapsis, contact, union) An amniote lineage comprising the mammals and the ancestral mammal-like reptiles, having a skull with a single pair of temporal openings.

T

tapetum lucidum (L. tapetum, tapestry, + lūcidum, bright) A layer of tissue behind the retina in most vertebrates that reflects visible light, increasing the availability of light to photoreceptors. Increases night vision in nocturnal and deep sea organisms.

thagomizer The distinctive arrangement of four to ten horizontal spines on the tail of reptiles. Coined by cartoonist Gary Larson and perpetuated by paleontologist Ken Carpenter.

torpor A state of decreased physical activity indicated by decreased metabolic rates and internal temperature.

U

ungulate (L. ungula, hoof) Any hooved mammal.

V

vipracanid (L. vīpera, snake, + canis, dog) See dog wyvern.

vivernan (It. viverna, wyvern, from L. vīpera, snake) An organism from a clade of nonavian theropods, colloquially known as “true wyverns.” Characterized by featherless membraned wings, bipedalism, and ectothermy.

W

X

xerophyte (Gr. xērós, dry) Plants with specific adaptations for living in dry environments with little moisture, such as deserts or snow- and ice-covered biomes.

xyrafitperid (Gr. xyráfi, razor, + pterón, wing) Any species belonging to the family Xyrafipteridae.

Y

Z



Definitions written and compiled by the author, with some wordings borrowed from Integrated Principles of Zoology (14 ed.). Etymologies sourced from various websites, books, and online databases, including wiktionary.org.
7

Cats sleep 2/3rds of every day.

Meaning that by the age of 9, your cat has only been awake for 3 years.

So it stands to reason that, being cathemeral animals (species whose waking activity is uniformly spread across the day) that half of the time they are awake, they see us sleeping, leading them to believe that we are really the ones who sleep far too much, and should wake-the-hell-up and feed them already!

An excerpt from the zoological text The Hunter’s Encyclopedia of Animals (First Edition).


CHAPTER III: An overview of the desert barroth

The desert barroth (Aratrum limus) is one of two extant species found in the genus Aratrum. This bipedal entomophage measures at 14 meters in length, and weighs 7.3 metric tons. Like many theropods that inhabit the Sandy Plains the barroth is specialized for living in a savanna-desert mosaic, demonstrated by its morphological adaptations to hunting arthropods and its heat-avoidance behavior. It is distinguished from other praesidiosaurs by its prominent crown structure, which houses five redundant nasal passages. Currently, the desert barroth is labeled vulnerable in its conservation status. Its species is confined to a single region, and has become increasingly susceptible to human activities such as defaunation and anthropogenic desertification. In the last decade, efforts from the International Hunters’ Guild have mitigated population decline.

The average lifespan of the barroth is 29 to 34 years, with no distinction in longevity between the sexes. Individuals tend to inhabit areas with ephemeral wetlands and depressions flooded by seasonal rains. When foraging for food, barroths will venture more than five miles from their wallowing sites into the surrounding xeric scrubland and savanna. The barroth is a solitary animal with little tolerance for encroaching predators or conspecifics, charging intruders at speeds of 25 mi/h and flinging projectile mud to encumber them. Ecologically, the barroth is an important organism—as an allogenic engineer, it helps shape the landscape through soil nutrient recycling and foliage trampling. Subterranean insects (like the altaroth) constitute the bulk of its diet. The barroth is a cathemeral animal, although its activity spikes significantly at dusk and dawn when the oppressive temperature has cooled.

Historical interactions with the barroth were predominantly seen by aboriginal peoples of the Sandy Plains, and caravans passing through the area en route to Loc Lac. The bulk of these attacks were the result of people attempting to gather water or bathe near its wallowing site. Territoriality is the sole provocation for all barroth attacks, hence the moderately high fatality rates in human and lynian populations. The constant churning of silt, water, and detritus caused by the barroth’s movements helps enrich and disperse mud. Early peoples revered the barroth because of the versatility of this resource, with its applications ranging from adobe housing to fertilizer. Today, it is still widely regarded as a pillar of desert culture, and this reputation has helped endorse conservation efforts. Historians attribute the rise of the hunting horn as a weapon to the sandpipe, a traditional woodwind instrument fashioned from the barroth’s crown.

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anonymous asked:

If you had to make an educated guess, what color (and maybe pattern) do you think T. rex was?

Well, given that it didn’t have pennaceous feathers, it probably was limited to browns, blacks, and whites in its coloration - protofeathers (like the kind Tyrannosaurus probably had) are limited in their coloration. It also was a carnivore - so it was especially limited in colors even in any scaly portions of its body, because there aren’t a lot of pigments to be gathered from animals. 

So if I had to make an educated guess, probably black or brown or white - and in a pattern so it wouldn’t stand out too much with its surroundings. Tyrannosaurus was a big animal and it didn’t need to draw any more attention to itself than necessary. It lived in a flat, forested floodplain, meaning oftentimes it was amongst the trees - so perhaps a pattern that would have allowed it to remain hidden between the trees - we aren’t sure whether it was nocturnal, cathemeral, crepuscular, or diurnal, which would obviously affect what pattern would best help it hide amongst the trees when hunting. 

So we have a general idea of the types of colors available and what sort of environment it lived in - depending on the time of day it was active in, its coloration would differ. For example, tigers are a diurnal mammal (so, limited to similar colors as protofeathers, given the structure of fur) that is a predator in the forest - the orange might seem like it stands out, but it does allow it to blend in in the bright sunlight - sort of like how the Cretaceous would have been. Most bears also serve as examples for diurnal animals. Meanwhile, Gray Wolves are nocturnal predatory mammals - so something similar to that would be Tyrannosaurus’ pattern if it also was nocturnal, as are would be the pattern of spetacled bears. As for crepuscular, ocelots can serve as an example there, as can jaguars. As for cathemeral, the fossa is the only mammal predatory analogue there to serve as an example. 

Now obviously, it probably didn’t look exactly like a modern animal, however, modern animal patterns can serve as a guide for what exactly would allow the Tyrannosaurus to hunt in its environment without being perceived too easily - what would allow it to blend in, at least a little. 

I hope this helps!