|By Avatar Vyakara||Part of thecontinuity.|
This taxonomic chart, based on that first created by Chin Pengyu (朋友 親) in 2633 BG, is the compilation of years of study and research, and also has some importance in the story of Huapo, Shenti, and Aliran. The naming conventions should prove easy to understand, as some attempt to translate the names into English has been made, although the original glyph forms have been added with a more literal translation. Alterations to the original text–including populations and locations–are marked in (parentheses).
This chart, which I have derived as the result of several attempts to classify and categorize the species on this planet, has several purposes:
- That it may be used to identify common species based on form, characteristics, and general assumed ancestry;
- That it may be used to classify unknown species using similar criteria, and demonstrate the connection between those species that are known and those newly discovered;
- That it may become common knowledge amongst peoples of all nations, so as to enlighten those citizens as to their surroundings and allow for greater respect, seeing the beauty and order with which nature is endowed.
I recognize, in this chart, that all creatures on this planet Avatarasya fall into these categories:
- Extent (界), the sum of all living things within a category. There are three known Extents: that of plants, that of fungi, and that of animals.
- Gate (门), the sum of all living things with a specific body plan.
- Gang (纲), the sum of all living things with a specific ancestral body plan and additional improvements.
- List (目), the natural collective of various families with related basic forms, and often similar ways of life.
- Family (科), the collective of various seeds, adapted entirely for a particular way of life.
- Seed (種), the common ancestor and basic form of a group of creatures, with some differences and rudimentary identical basic characteristics.
- Seed Category (種類), a collective of individual creatures with only rudimentary differences and fundamentally identical basic characteristics.
This Extent contains any living creature able to move under its own power.
This Gate contains any animal with a developed bilateral skeleton at some point in its life. The name means "ridge-vertebra animal".
This Gang contains any vertebrate with six legs, usually capable of flight. The name means "flying fish animal", in reference partially to the aquatic nature of much of this Gang, and partially to a supposed common ancestor, a creature similar to the Flying Manta Squid that sometimes is seen in Fire Nation waters.
This List refers to any altichane that has a special symbiosis with a particular bacterium (more on this unique specimen of life later). Generally, the bacterium is without note, and may have evolved from a parasite of sorts. In some species, however, it is highly noticeable, producing (at least in dragons and flying bison) the ability to keep warm and generate lift, possibly by some kind of extra propulsion. Related is that in the otter-penguin, which is used to produce extra heat in the Antarctic climate it calls home. Almost all gasterignans have an outer covering composed of chitin (壳质, literally "shell-like"), which produces both dragon scales and bison fur.
This Family is composed of those gasterignans with some form of thick, downy substance made of chitin, which often however resembles feathers in its properties (especially in compensating for airflow)
- Flying Bison (天牛, sky cattle)
- Striped Flying Bison (斑天牛, speckled sky cattle)
This Gang contains any vertebrate with feathers, that lays eggs and does not produce milk. Normally, they possess clawless wings, a beak, and a gizzard. The name means "bird animal".
Water Birds (水鳥動物)
Although it is something of a misnomer, as there are other birds that live near water and some that are even capable of swimming, Water Birds covers most of them.
- Toucan Puffin (巨嘴海雀, large mouthed sea bird)
The toucan puffin is a small, piscivorous, insectivorous bird native to the outer islands of the eastern Fire Nation. While it has the ability to fly, it rarely ever does so, preferring to spend most of the day sleeping or hunting for food on the ground. It can commonly be seen on rocks in coastal areas, usually near the caverns where its primary food source, the cavehopper, often resides. Usually fishing in groups, the beak and feathers are specially coloured for signalling to other birds in the water, and for mating dances on land. A small "troupe" can contain up to forty individuals, usually with a scouting party of four or five in any corner of the troupe's territory. The toucan puffin is known to be extremely friendly, having no natural predators outside of the water, and will generally respond well to human interaction. They are not, however, recommended for food; connoisseurs tend to remark that the bird leaves a bad taste in one's mouth unless balanced out by a delicate mixture of salt, wasanbon, and about fifty pounds of Fire Flakes.
This Gang contains any vertebrate with some form of fur or hair, which produces milk but lays eggs. The name means "egg-feeding animal".
This Gang contains any vertebrate with some form of fur or hair, which gives birth to life young and produces milk. The name means "milk-producing animal".
While technically the name refers to any meat-eater, this List is a special group of mammals that have fully developed to take advantage of their predatory ancestry, often becoming the top predator in their environment.
- Bear (熊, bear)
- Common Winged Lemur (狐猴飛, flying fox monkey)
The winged lemur is a small and highly playful primate, both a fructivore and an insectivore. While its original range is unknown (and may have extended through much of the forests of the Northwestern Earth Kingdom), the most common variety today, aptly named the Common Winged Lemur, has massive groups (called "chatters") at the four air temples, and as such, they are as impossible to miss as the Flying Bison.
- Ring-Tailed Winged Lemur (環尾狐猴, ring-tailed fox monkey)
For the collective works of the author, go here.