Eptenycta

From Sedes Draconis

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Order Eptenycta

Earth Analogues

Eptenyctans have no direct analogue on Earth. Functionally, of course, they are similar to bats, since they are flying nocturnal mammals. But the eptenyctans evolved much sooner in mammalian history on Sedes than did bats on Earth. There are two primary differences this causes. First, the eptenyctans evolved flight while mammals were still mostly egg-layers (originally all mammals were egg-layers; only later did various groups evolve such arcane alternatives we see in the major modern mammal groups: the Marsupialia and Placentalia). For flyers, it is a great boon to be egg-layers. Of the major groups of modern vertebrates (fish, amphibians, "reptiles", birds, mammals), all of those groups except one include a mix of both egg-laying and live-bearing species. The only group that doesn't include both strategies is the birds, due to the advantages for a flyer of carrying the weight of their developing young for as short a time as possible. Earthly bats are not able to do this, since they evolved only after placental mammals had firmly fixed their placental reproduction traits; and this has landed them with several difficulties they have need to adapt to. Eptenyctans side step many of these by retaining their egg-laying strategy. The second effect of eptenyctans evolving earlier is that they appeared closer after the first birds on Sedes, and have been somewhat more succesful at competing for niches that, on Earth, the well-entrenched birds were able to mostly exclude them from. </div>

  • Class Mammalia
  • Subclass Nyctotheria
  • Order Eptenycta
Order Eptenycta are the only extent order of Subclass Nycotheria. Nyctotherians, in contrast to the other living Subclasses (Marsupialia and Placentalia), retain the trait of laying eggs which is primitive to mammals. Nyctotherians diverged from the other lineages before this trait was replaced by more derived reproductive strategies among the Marsupialia and Placentalia. The ancestors of eptenyctans, like most early mammals, were small insectivores. The vast majority of eptenyctan species are still small insectivores, feeding on nocturnal insects. These eptenyctans are found on all continents. Other eptenyctans are frugivores or nectar-feeders. These species are larger than most of the insectivores. They prefer warm, wet regions and are mostly found on the Kellsith and the wetter southern regions of the Hajasith. The trees of the Iredjolsith offer little food for a frugivore, but do support a handful of species of nectar-feeding eptenyctans. A few large eptenyctan species are predators, hunting small vertebrates: small mammals, lizards, and birds, and sometimes large invertebrates, such as small dryopods. These have almost an inverted range as the frugivores. They are mostly found on the Hajasith and Iredjolsith, where they faced lower levels of competition from pre-established predators. Almost all eptenyctans are nocturnal. Early eptenyctans developed from night-adapted nocturnal mammals, and most species have kept most of those adaptations to a nocturnal lifestyle. In addition, eptenyctans evolved shortly (on an evolutionary timescale) after birds, and well after pterosaurs. Pterosaurs are unsuited for night-flying, and competitive exclusion between birds and eptenyctans have kept the former mostly diurnal and the latter mostly nocturnal. Back to Biology

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