Nodent

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Nodent
First Appearance

10/66

Census

178 total / 38 extant

Progenitor

Notooth

Community and Production Information
Regalian Fossorundi is an example of a nodent.

Nodents are a type of plent. Most of them bear a pair of large incisors protruding from the jaws.


Anatomy

Nodents typically have four limbs. They have large wooden incisors, which have been modified into beaks in some species. Like other members of Phylaura, they have four eyes, as well as pinnae derived from the leaves which are ancestral to plents. Unlike most plents, the tail and butt nostril of most nodents are separated, with the nostril rising from the rump as a snorkel-like structure. They generally have multiple clawed toes.

Similar to other plents, nodent teeth, claws, and bones are all made of wood. Their muscles and skin also contain significant amounts of cellulose. Their reproductive organs are on the throat, though in some eusocial species the womb is extended along the chest and underbelly. They have a blind gut, meaning they have no anus and must regurgitate their waste.

Behavior

The earliest nodents were small and quick herbivores and omnivores which laid low and reproduced quickly in the face of predation. Many nodents are social and vocal, producing squeaking sounds from their butt nostril.

One line of nodents descended from the noants, sometimes called "gundis", began to form colonies and become eusocial like Earth ants. They often have complex social structures with multiple castes, and they are capable of farming shrooms.

Breathing & Blood

Like all mobile land plents, nodents breathe out their "butt-nostril". They breathe in carbon dioxide just like plants on Earth. Nodents have green blood from the chlorophyll that remains in it.

Diet & Energy

Many nodents tend to be herbivores or omnivores, but some branches, such as the nizzards, became totally carnivorous. Herbivores use the large incisors nodents are known for to clip or crunch plants, while the nizzards and the pillnibble use them for cutting or slicing.

Evolution

The Notooth was the first nodent. Artwork by OviraptorFan, based on the species originally created by TheBigDeepCheatsy.

All Nodents are descended from the Notooth, which first appeared in week 10. Though the earliest nodents were very small, they are actually descended from megafauna—only two grades behind in their evolution lies the Nobomaton, which is nearly 2 meters tall at the shoulder. Their ancestors were preyed on by large carnivores such as early saucebacks; becoming smaller allowed the nodents to evade these more easily as well as reproduce more quickly, but at the cost of exposing them to smaller predators such as early shrews.

Early Forms

Early on, nodents produced a diverse radiation of forms, such as nice, neavers, nizzards, noghogs, geistrats, noants, pillnibbles, and grasschompers. These spread all over eastern Glicker, and some even made their way to Huggs and Yokto islands.

This gallery shows early nodent diversity:

Post-Gammaray Nodents

Unlike most other fauna of the time, nodents got through the gamma-ray burst disaster in week 15 with proportionally few losses. Although neavers, grasschompers, and pillnibbles were wiped out, the other morphological types of nodent all had surviving representatives. In the time that followed, beginning in week 16, nodents began to diversify again, soon producing the pipents.

In week 17, nodents exploded in diversity, particularly noants and pipents. Megafaunal forms such as tunkis appeared. Fully aquatic pipents, the nailfins, evolved and rapidly conquered the oceans using flippers derived from the wooden claws of their extremely polydactyl feet. The first true wargrats also appeared. Pollinating nodents, the nectarlings, also appeared. Nearly every habitat in Glicker had at least one species of nodent. They continued to diversify and spread into week 18, producing fantastic forms such as monopods, nizzards that walked with their ears, and giant hadrosaur-like pipents. Some smaller nodents, such as the notox, became poisonous.

This gallery shows the diversity of nodents from this time period:

Nodents After the Ice Comet

Descendants of the nogbarrel diversified greatly following the ice comet impact event.

When the ice comet impact event occurred in week 19, megafaunal nodents as well as the nectarlings were wiped out. However, like with the gamma-ray burst beforehand, most groups had smaller forms that easily survived and bounced back from this setback. In fact, noghogs, through descent from the nogbarrel, diversified rapidly into new forms. In week 20, as Glicker split into Darwin and Drake, nailfins reclaimed the entire ocean and terrestrial nodents were found nearly all over both landmasses. The largest nodent to ever live, the Striped Nailfin, appeared. Some nailfins, descended from the Leatherback Pipent, even returned to land, converting their flippers back into legs by only walking on the first few toes and using their wrists and ankles as elbows and knees.

At the start of the ice age in Week 21, marine nodents—the nailfins—took a hit. However, despite habitat loss, nodents as a group persisted with minimal losses. They even produced warm-blooded forms with downy pelts. Their post-glaciation future seemed bright. Or, at the very least, it did until the snowball event occurred.

This gallery shows the diversity of nodents during this period:

Icy Armageddon

No-Snarf was a deadly disease which wiped out many nodents.

Initially, nodents adapted very well to the globally glaciated conditions in week 22, with most groups having surviving representatives, although nizzards did not survive. However, a deadly plague swept through nodent populations, wiping out the last surviving members of the Neoheteroures order. Many nodents still survived this deadly event and continued to produce new forms, most notably including the Genteel Tuskent, a secondarily terrestrial descendant of nailfins which was domesticated by the unrelated sapient Tripodician. However, when the second solar flare occurred, nearly all remaining nodents were wiped out. The vast majority of surviving nodents by this point were megafauna, which were unable to cope with the intense heat which swept over the planet. Even among those which were not megafauna, such as the Ambush Ghastrett, their former home in the salt flats was also destroyed by the rapidly rising sea levels. In fact, only two species of nodent living on the surface survived the solar flare. The first species that survived was the Genteel Tuskent, which outlived its masters and became feral as a result of selective breeding producing smaller forms, though its descendants would proceed to become incredibly rare and elusive for millions of years. The other species was the Fishing Grasper, which survived the event due to pure luck. The only other nodents which survived this armageddon were small populations of noants and wargrats which lived in the Ferret and Badger limestone caverns, respectively.

This gallery shows a selection of nodents which appeared during the snowball event:

Recovery and Modern Nodents

Trogagon was the first and only wargrat to emerge from the caves when the ice receded, and it became the ancestor of most modern non-noant nodents.

As the ice receded in week 23, noants emerged from Ferret Limestone Caverns and began to diversify. Badger Limestone Caverns were still sealed off, preventing the nodents living there from emerging. However, this changed with the formation of the Envious Eye, which allowed a single species of wargrat—the trogagon—to emerge. The trogagon then produced the cragagon, which became the last common ancestor of "neonodents".

As the glaciers vanished and the tropics returned in week 24, nodents diversified rapidly all over Darwin and Vivus. From the surviving gundis came more advanced eusocial forms, such as the Undergroundi and the Hangerundi which have strong morphological distinctions between queen and worker. They also produced a larger, more traditionally nodent-like forms, especially descended from the Handlicker Dundi. One branch of the gundis would however go in a completely unprecedented direction, with the Glideabovi being the first ever species of nodent to take to the air. Meanwhile, the cragagon produced such forms as barkbacks and, in week 25, Zirabers. Unlike many other fauna of the time, nodents were hardly affected by the rising sea levels. When the supercontinent formed in week 26, they were even able to spread to Dixon. Today, they are found all over the supercontinent, though relic populations descended from the Genteel Tuskent remain extant in Drake and Fermi with the populations Drake also being accompanied by the last populations of the Fishing Grasper and their respective descendants. While modern nodents are not as specious as they were during their glory day, as well as having very few megafaunal species among their ranks, the group is once more on the rise and have a bright future ahead of them.

This gallery shows the diversity of modern nodents:

Locomotion

The majority of nodents are quadrupeds, but bipedal, tripedal, hexapedal, monopedal, and even arguably octopedal forms have evolved.

Reproduction

Like all other plents, nodents reproduce sexually. They copulate through their mouths, as well as give birth with it. They give live birth, just like mammals.

Senses

Size

Nodents range in size from 1 cm long (Male/Worker/Farmer Megapolidi) to 7.2 m long (Striped Nailfin).

Types of Nodents

Extant

The relationships between the major living groups are as follows:


Gundis

Dundis



Verdiundis




Nailfins

Pelagic Nailfins



Tuskents





Graspers


Neonodents

Zirabers



Barkbacks







Neonodents make up most living nodents. They have distinctive beaks derived from their incisors, and many species have woody armor.

Zirabers are bipedal neonodents which superficially resemble kangaroos. They include some of the largest living nodents.

Barkbacks are mesothermic neonodents which use bark as their insulating integument.

Graspers are relatives of neonodents which survive in Drake, which most closely resemble ancient nodents.

Dundis are the larger, more traditionally rodent-like gundis. Some have lost their ancestral eusociality while others have taken it to a completely new level.

Verdiundis are the smaller, more traditionally noant-like gundis. Despite their morphology, they lack queens, as all living species instead have fertile workers known as gamergates.

Tuskents are the most specious group of the nailfins in modern times, having being secondarily-terrestrial. Tuskents are notable for having their wrists and ankles serve as elbows and knees, a byproduct through their process of being "unwhaled". They are unique among all other Sagan 4 organisms in that they are direct descendants of domestic pets.

Nailfins are aquatic pipents which use their claws as wooden paddles. While nailfins used to be extremely successful, coming in a wide range of shapes, sizes, and niches, the snowball event and the solar flare direct afterwards has reduced them to just a few remaining species in modern times.

Extinct

The various extinct nodent groups add a broader evolutionary context to the living groups:



Neavers




Grassnibbles



Noants

Scavengundis




Dundis



Verdiundis




Nice

Nizzards




Noghogs


Geistrats

Graspers



Neonodents



Pipents

Chunky Pipents


Nailfins

Pelagic Nailfins



Tuskents





Nectarlings



Monopods



Noleaps







: Taxon is extinct


Neavers were, as their name implies, beaver-like nodents. They used their leaves as twin paddle tails. They evolved ears set on their heads independently of other groups. Neavers became extinct as a result of the gamma ray burst.

Nizzards were long-bodied nodents which resembled lizards. They became extinct as a result of the snowball event.

Grassnibbles were an herbivorous offshoot of nodents which had grass-like leaves on their backs for camouflage. They were wiped out by the gamma ray burst.

Monopods were various monopedal and tripedal nodents which had fused legs and tail. They became extinct at the end of the snowball event.

Noghogs were an odd, superficially dicynodont-like branch of nodent which diversified greatly following the ice comet impact event. They became extinct due to the No-Snarf.

Nectarlings were nectarivorous nodents with long tongues and forward-protruding teeth. They became extinct as a result of the ice comet impact event, as all the flora they depended on for food die out.

Succeeded

Succeeded groups have living descendants, but they are morphologically so far removed from their ancestors that they are not considered the same type of nodent.

Basal noteeth were the ancestral grade of nodents. They retained many basal characteristics, such as hoofed feet, leaves on their backs, a lack of a tail, and ears placed on their shoulders.

Nice were the traditionally rodent-like "main line" of nodents. Both tuskents and neonodents are descended from them, but are morphologically too far removed to really be nice anymore. True nice had distinctive buck teeth and overall resembled Terran rodents more than any other plents. The last nice-grade nodents died out at the end of the snowball event.

Basal noants were the ancestral noants which retained basal characteristics such as an inflexible snout. Early noants had a different set of castes from modern forms. All basal noants were wiped out by the gamma ray burst.

Diggerundis are the ancestors of modern noants. They were ancestrally eusocial and have highly mobile snouts. The last members of this group died out when their cave refugium was flooded at the end of the ice age.

Basal pipents were a subgroup of nice which produced megafaunal forms and even had fully aquatic descendants. The last non-tuskent pipents were wiped out at the end of the snowball event.