Before we get into the main topic, I want to say I am loving this update so far. New creatures that spawn readily in the wild are very much welcomed and of these Meiolania is my favourite, love the design.
Having unlocked it and read the description it really got under my skin because it is soooooooooooo wrong. I have always been interested in evolution and if I wasn’t an ecologist I would probably have been an evolutionary biologist.
It basically says Testudines (turtles, tortoises, terrapins) evolved from ankylosaurs, but ankylosaurs evolved 35my after Testudines with Meio dating from the Miocene 16mya so where has this mis-information come from?
Well the Wikipedia reads as quoted " The body form of Meiolania may be viewed as having converged towards those of dinosaurian ankylosaurids and xenarthran [glyptodonts].", when misinterpreted one might assume they are the same lineage. WRONG. The key word in this is CONVERGING which is linked in Wiki to the concept of convergent evolution.
What is convergent evolution? It is basically where 2 completely different lineages evolve the same traits, a good modern day example is the hedgehog and echinda. These 2 species share: spines; long nose; roll into a ball when threatened and occupy the similar niches but are found in completely different locations.
This is the same case with Meio and ankylosaurs. Heavily armoured with spikes on it’s head and a club like tail but completely unrelated, evidently these traits are good given they have appeared in the fossil record numerous times, but from completely unrelated lineages.
Considering this I think the description should read as follows:
“This ancient stem-turtle dates from the Miocene. It has horns extending from it’s flat skull and an armoured tail suggesting it is a distant member of the ankylosauridae family but they are in-fact completely unrelated! Meiolonia is herbivorous with a diet consisting mainly of low-lying vegetation”
Hopefully this is not too much of an ask for the devs?