Don't Show, Don't TellAn article by Mythic Scribes that can be useful in a worldbuilding collab, just like what Great Lakes Earth is going to be once I'd gotten the blueprint re-polished.
What Inspired the Geography of Great Lakes Earth?As an alternate Earth, it makes sense that pretty much everything is inspired by Earth itself. Not just that, but primarily Earth as it used to be, because plate tectonics actually make Earth rather flexible. Its history is so diverse that it makes it easy for me to experiment with an idea of putting those past features into the present day.
The term “supermoon” actually means that the full or new moon has reached its perigee, or closest point of orbit, giving us the illusion that the moon has grown bigger. Despite that truth, the term used in the news headlines has a certain kind of appeal for an experiment. Even though our moon is the largest in proportion of its parent planet, it is not the largest moon period. Our gas giants — Jupiter and Saturn — have t
Tropical Worm Forests, Great Lakes EarthFor :iconsalpfish1:’s contest in :iconConceptualEvolution:. Theme: AMBUSH PREDATORS
For over 400 million years, worm forests dominate the oceans of Great Lakes Earth. The worms that make up the forests, members of infraclass Canalipalpata, have a kind of flexibility that makes them more numerous reef-builders than coral. They can be found from frigid polar seas to warm equatorial seas, from sunlit shallow seas to dark, otherwise cold deep-sea hydrothermal vents and tar and mud volcanoes, from major lakes to slow-moving mature and old-age rivers. In sunlit water, worms are primarily photosynthetic, using the algae in their grooved palpi to turn sunlight into food while they can also transport food particles into the mouth. In dark waters, worms are exclusively chemosynthetic, converting gases into food.
It’s only in the warm, equatorial waters of the tropics that you would find pure worm forests—that is, r
The Sharks of Great Lakes EarthFrom 542 to 445 million years ago, all the fish on Great Lakes Earth lacked a jaw. They were the agnathans—the hagfish who feasted on the dead, the lampreys who sucked the essence out of the living, the eel-like conodonts and the armored ostracoderms. But as one song goes, “One of these things is not like the other.” In the case of Great Lakes Earth, that standout was called Entelognathus, an eight-incher with dermal marginal jaw bones. It would be the only fish to survive the Great Dying 444.4 million years ago. Its survival is as unprecedented as that of Lystrosaurus was back home. What was the key? Were they adapted to breathe stale water? Did they avoid competition by having a slow metabolism, therefore a lower demand for energy? Were they, for whatever reason, common enough to brush off the storm? Could they dig burrows? Or was it just, as Dr. Michael Benton put it, “simp
Pantheridae, Great Lakes EarthFrom shady Nimravus stalking the forests of Europe 60 million years ago, we see the first stage of transforming one of the European species of weasel-like Miacis into the order Feliformia. 15 million years later, Nimravus would branch out into the feliforms we’d recognize—cats (Felidae, Pantheridae, Machairodontidae), mongeese (Herpestidae, Mungotidae), hyenas (Hyaenidae, Ictitheriidae, Protelidae), linsang (Prionodontidae) and civets (Hemigalinae, Paradoxurinae, Viverridae). 36 million years ago, the feliforms would butt heads with the approaching caniforms on their crossing to Asia and North America, and between 32 and 26 million years ago, they would colonize Africa.
Back home, the “roaring cats” come in only two genera—Panthera and Neofelis. But on Great Lakes Earth, they come in four—Panthera, Leo, Tigris and Onca. There are nine species of the genus
The Dinosaur Empire, Great Lakes EarthFor most of humankind, the dinosaur empire that lasted from 200 to 66 million years ago was the era that epitomized the word “prehistoric”. Wherever you go, you’d find these bygone creatures massively ingrained in our human culture, spanning all the way back to the first civilization, which had the first of many, many empires run by the most prolific of all mythological monsters, the dragons. But as the last few decades have shown, the fact of the dinosaur empire was far more impressive than the fantasy of the dragon. With the latest technology, palentological findings have accelerated in the past years, and most of them had been reshaping our previous preconceptions of how dinosaurs looked and behaved. It has become accepted that dinosaurs are still alive—in the form of Aves. The space bomb did not really destroy the dinosaurs 66 million years ago, just the empire itself. Some of our scientific community was relieved upon hea
The Paleozoic Icons That Never Were, GLEWhen one thinks “Paleozoic Era”, we’d usually think of the very alien-looking trilobites and terror-shrimps, and they were among many to be considered icons of that geological volume in the Phanerozoic Eon. Indeed, that may be the case back home, but not on Great Lakes Earth.
542 million years ago, the Drumian period began with a bang. Between now and 750 million years ago, one old species evolved into one new one every ten million years on average. Now, one old species could become a dozen new ones every one million years. As with the Cambrian Explosion back home, the origin of the Drumian Explosion was shrouded in mystery. However the Explosion happened, it really was an explosion in the ecological sense. It brought about trilobites, marrellomorphs, dinocarids, brachiopods, bryozoans, lobopods, cheliceratans, homalozoans, crinoids, paracrinoids, cystoids, blastoids, stars, urchins, cucumbers, brachiopods, gastropods, cephal
Lakes Chad and Congo
Two of Great Lakes Earth’s largest lakes, Chad and Congo in central Africa, are certainly big enough to make Africa the cradle not just of humanity but civilization, too. With them in existence, daily survival could become transformed into a stable culture. It may have been the center of an ancient empire that, if one transdimensional historian’s theory is correct, was at its height roughly 20,000 years ago but collapsed between 10,000 and 13,000 years ago. North Africa did have some evidence to verify that theory in the form of weathered ruins, but too few of them have not been buried by water or vegetation. The largest and most conspicuous of the surviving evidence is a pyramidal shape 2,004 feet tall and covering an area of 16 million cubic feet, yet we have found not heiroglyphs but cuneiform writing on the wall. Today, we are still digging deep to see where the analogies to Egypt end and those to Sumer begin. Was the pyramid a tomb,
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