A lack of backbone.

Imagine it, a world without vertebrates, where invertebrate phyla compete with each other without the interference of those nasty backboned creatures.

I was lucky enough to visit that world briefly in July 1999. With fellow S.H.W.I. traveller Doug Muir. Below is an account of some of the creatures we encountered. I have illustrated the text where possible from the drawings I made in my sketchbook during the visit.

Without competion from vertebrates a much more varied fauna was observed. Of course invertebrate faunas surround us in this world, but because of their small size and vulnerability to the more conspicuous vertebrates their presence isn't nearly as obvious as it was in this alternative timeline.

Several faunas dominate the land, forming the majority of the animals encountered. They are the arthropods, the insects, crustacea, spiders and centipedes. The molluscs with snails and some cephalopods present. The echinoderms mainly the starfish and brittlestars have colonised the land. A few other phyla represented by one or two members are also present without the pressure of competition from the vertebrates.

Arthropods | Molluscs | Echinoderms | Other Phyla

Lewis' main page | Alternative history index

These pages began life as a usenet discussion on Social History What If. Mainly between Douglas Muir and myself. A mention must also go to Stan Engle who posted the original thread which sparked it all.

This page was last modified on by Lewis Hutton (clovis@zetnet.co.uk).