How long do you think it took animals to colonize all of the earth? I imagine they may have been limited to small stretches of ocean at first. The poles and other frozen territories may have been avoided until endothermic evolved?
The earliest known members of Animalia, sponges, seem to have actually evolved during the Cryogenian period and the “Snowball Earth” glaciations – suggesting that cold conditions probably weren’t much of a problem for early animals, and might even have driven their evolution in the first place. I’d guess they probably spread pretty much everywhere in the oceans soon after they first appeared.
We even have some fossil evidence of ancient polar communities. There are mid-Ordovician (~465 mya) deposits from Portugal – which was near the south pole at the time – full of animals like giant trilobites, cephalopods, graptolites, hyoliths, gastropods, bivalves, brachiopods, and echinoderms.
Plus there were plenty of periods in Earth’s history when the polar regions weren’t nearly as frigidly cold as they are today, so even if we narrow things down to just terrestrial vertebrates there were still opportunities for animals to hang out at the poles without strictly having to be endothermic like modern polar tetrapods. The giant temnospondyl amphibian Koolasuchus is known from then-polar Australia during the Early Cretaceous, for example.
These are some of the terms and definitions that I personally use. They change a lot as I get new info and I didn’t create any of the words lol. Other people have other definitions and I’m not trying to insinuate that mine are the “right” meanings. They’re simply just my thoughts on things.
Spirits: Funny enough, the hardest thing for me to define. I want to say anything that doesn’t exist in the physical realm, aka anything without matter. But there’s a difference between spirits and simply energy and that’s where things get fuzzy. Also, there’s a lot of things that don’t have matter that I wouldn’t consider spirits just because of that such as concepts like justice or things like heat (aka a non woo energy).
Etheric Copy: Also known as the “energy body”.
This is actually more so a type of energy that makes up a spirit than the spirit itself but I felt it was worth mentioning. It applies to the spirit that lies within physical beings, living and nonliving and is the energetic form and feeling that their spirit takes. Sometimes the etheric copy isn’t an exact copy of the physical form where one’s etheric copy can have aspects of their astral form, such as wings on a human’s copy.
Entities: Living spirits that are still going about their lives. They can grow, have families, withdraw money from the bank, die, etc. They can be super complex beings or just simple, mindless creatures. The important things are that they can still age and that they don’t have physical bodies.
Ghosts: The spirits of the dead, whether they were originally physical or not. These are the spirits that you’d meet from the bones and remains of earthly organisms but you can also meet ghosts from entities that have passed. Usually hang out in graveyards, places that they used to live, or the respective netherworld of their culture. If you kill an entity, you might still need to deal with their ghost.
[Name] Guardian: A spirit that encompasses many other spirits. For example, a “species spirit” which is a spirit of an entire species of organism, not just an individual, would fall under this. (They aren’t literally made of the individuals that fall under them). I also just sometimes write the name in all caps like COFFEE for Coffee Guardian.
Nonliving Spirits: The spirits of objects. These can have an etheric copy if working with physical objects but it also applies to objects in the nonphysical worlds. Usually are dormant and need an energy input to be “awakened”. They usually like to do what they were made for, examples being hammer spirits that like to hammer, lamps that like to be turned on, etc. On the other hand, some nonliving spirits have the strength of gods but their nonliving nature means that they’re not actively looking for worshipers or to strengthen their power like most true gods (Ex- the Sun and the Moon).
Demons: A “catch-all” term for the diverse group of spirits that usually live in the lower realms of the astral. They also usually work in “darker” magics but there’s some who are “lighter” and others who don’t do any magic. A lot of spirits with different names, appearances, cultures, personalities etc. fit under this broad classification. Think about how we use Kingdom Animalia to describe thousands of species that share only a few characteristics.
Gods: Strong entities with access to power levels and areas of the universe that are inaccessible to humans and other spirits. For example, humans can create life by using their personal will and energy (and perhaps that of spirit allies too) to make thoughtforms and the like whereas gods can create life (and free will from the get go) simply by using the energy from a life-creating domain of the universe. The more connections they have to these domains, the stronger they become. A lot of their strength also comes from worship and its many forms though not all gods are a part of a religion and not all gods interact with humans. They can also form different “aspects” which are like different versions of themselves that are usually influenced by the way their followers worship and work with them. They can create these without influence though it’s not as easy.
Servitors: Simple, mindless spirits that are created from a human’s (can be an entity’s too probably) will and energy. Programmed for one certain task and are fed through the creator’s energy aka their creator giving them attention. The creator can dismantle them and incorporate their energy into new servitors, back into themselves (not recommended), release their energy into the universe, or forget about them so that they disappear into the universe on their own. They lack a mind, free will, personality, emotions, etc. unless they’ve gone rogue. A rogue servitor is one that their creator no longer has full control over and no, that’s not a good thing.
Thoughtforms: Essentially the same thing as a servitor but they’re usually more complex with thoughts, feelings, minds and potentially more than one task programmed into them. Just like servitors, they’re dependent on their creator for food but a properly made thoughtform would have another food source that they can rely on. Initially, they lack knowledge beyond what their creator already knows and free will, however, through experience and interactions with others they can gain both of those things. The only way to know if a TF truly has free will is if they go against the task they were programmed for (a companion TF no longer wants to be a companion, a guardian TF no longer feels the need to guard what they were instructed to, etc.). When they have completed their task, they can be “put to rest” and released into the universe or released as an independent being since they do have the other food source. They can also go rogue if they become independent without their creator’s “permission” and can be dangerous to the creator and others depending on how they gained their independence (*cough* abused/neglected TFs ).
Egregores: Spirits that are created from the will and energy of multiple people. Pop-Culture spirits are the most obvious example but egregores can be created by a small group of people like a coven or just a bunch of friends too. Like thoughtforms and servitors, they are fed by attention and smaller egregores can die if they aren’t given enough attention and don’t have an alternative food source. I find that similar to gods, these usually have “aspects” with different facets depending on how many people were involved in their creation (the more people, the more aspects). They’re more powerful than thoughtforms.
Godforms: Human-created gods. Usually come from extremely successful egregores that obtained the attention and energy of many, many people. I’d say characters like Pikachu or Harry Potter have reached this level or perhaps even the spirit of the USA or McDonald’s. They can also be intentionally created gods like if a group of people began worshiping a being as if they were a god. While egregores are usually controlled in some form by the people that created them, godforms are completely independent and no longer require their attention just to exist. But just like gods, more attention means more power so they probably seek out more “followers” by trying to expand their influence. I don’t know for sure if they have connections to the exclusive domains of the universe that regular gods have but I can see things like the USA godform gaining access to the same domains that war gods have or Pikachu being connected to an electricity domain like Zeus is.
Some would argue that all gods are actually godforms but I don’t know enough about the nature and origins of gods to make that judgement. (I’ve seen “megregore” used as a term for a godform that isn’t “religiously” worshiped but I personally don’t differentiate the two).
So I did a survey of my dormouse boxes yesterday. For those what don’t do Conservation for a living and so are unfamiliar, dormouse boxes are like bird boxes that have a hole in the back rather than the front and you put them on trees at chest height. Over the winter, mice will move in and hibernate, but they have a sort of revolving occupancy; the mice vacate in spring when their lease expires, and the birds move in instead, before leaving again in the middle of summer. But of course, many things actually live in the boxes. The most exciting thing I personally ever found was a pygmy shrew, UKvia’s smallest mammal and about the size of a thumb.
Anyway, ‘tis bird season, so I was looking for chicks. The first box I checked is always my same one when I do this, because it’s close to the path and almost always occupied, and when I opened the lid this time it was no exception; it was full of fresh moss. Except, that usually means mice? And for those what don’t do Conservation for a living and so are unfamiliar, the way you check for a mouse is to just shove your fingers inside and see if you feel fur, and if it’s a dormouse it’ll just wiggle a bit and if it’s a woodmouse it will probably remove your fingertip because they are bitey fucks.
So, in accordance with Standard Procedures, I shoved a finger inside, and to my surprise given the time of year, I felt fur.
Amazing, right?? In May! And it was really, really warm, so it wasn’t an old dead one, either. So I had to carefully pull the moss aside to see if I could find the mouse and thus record a species.
And thus it was that I pulled back the top layer of moss and came face to face with bees. Bumblebees. Furry little bumblebees, completely bewildered at the presence of a giant who was apparently coming to pet them all. I had just shoved my hand into a live bumblebee nest. I’d felt bees. Just poked a bee.
I put the moss back and closed the box and left, obviously.
The next box I opened literally contained four woodmice. I have no fucking idea what is going on with them boxes.
(But of course, I did find birbs too.)
Final tally: two boxes of bees (yes I did shove my hand in both), one box of mice, five boxes empty, and the rest full of birbs.