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Reedstilt
Reedstilt
Naming
Binomen Harundopes virgatus
Morphology
Body type Mammalian
Average height ~1 meter (at the shoulder)
Intelligence
Sentience Sentient
Sapience Non-Sapient
Ecology
Place of origin Northern Continent
Habitat Freshwater
Diet Piscivore
Locomotion Quadrupedal
Behind the Scenes
Universe After Man
Created by Dougal Dixon
Designed by Dougal Dixon

The Reedstilt (Harundopes virgatus) is a medium-sized mammal which inhabits lakes and riverbanks on the temperate areas of Earth about 50 million years in the future.

With four thin and elongated legs, it stands nearly a meter high at the shoulder. It has neither claws nor nails, and no tail to speak of. Its vertically-striped pattern provides camouflage among the reeds. Its neck is sinuous and elongated, and unlike most mammals, it possesses 15 neck vertebrae rather than the usual seven. Its dentition has also reverted to an almost reptilian condition in which the teeth are no longer differentiated, since their only function is to capture fish, which the Reedstilt swallows whole. The legs are covered in hair, which most likely helps it detect movement in the water.

Appearances[]

  • After Man: A Zoology of the Future, by Dougal Dixon (1981)

Notes[]

  • While the book's main text doesn't specify what kind of mammal evolved into the Reedstilt, the cladogram at the end places it on the same lineage of "insectivores" (i.e. eulipotyphlans such as shrews, moles and hedgehogs) which also gave rise to the Testadon, Tusked Mole, Tree Drummer, Truteal, Pfrit, Parashrew, Leaping Devil, Desert Shark, Trovamp, and Nightglider.
    • However, this cladogram isn't fully consistent with the rest of the book, as the Nightglider is explicitly identified as a mustelid.
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