Adaptations to a flooding land.

Creator

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Ok I wonder what kind of adaptations would the animals need on an environment I plan to make in a fiction. But it's rather believable as far as I can see.

The island is rather small like the offshore islands of Singapore but the whole island is in fact a very big mangrove swamp. Every time the tide rises at least 90% of the island is submerged in water. The flowering plants here are mostly mangroves and small shrubs and saltwater grasses.
 

TorrnT

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90% of the island, I am guessing this is is a rise of 2 feet opposed to just 10% of a mountaintop showing at high tide :D
Warm climate, would mean a good environment for cold blooded animals, the success of extremely large animals would solely rely on surprise, as maneuverability and speed over distance would be nigh impossible, 70% of tiny creatures, 20% small to mid 10% large.
Depending on rivers an how wide/open/deep these rivers may be.
Tree dwellers would be your key to creating the most diverse creature, this would fall into the small to mid range, but it is fantasy, and having lurking monsters peering up through the swamp waters would be a nice edge.

PS, tiny creatures in multitude are just as frightening if not more than 1 large predatory creature, killer bees and soldier ants for instance
Also escaping the jaws of one lurking predator can throw you into the jaws of another, so you have an escapee whom is under constant threat without ever being chased in a mangrove labyrinth of submerged jaws
 
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Creator

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Thanks TorrnT

So the animals that live in this Skull Island/Mangrove swamp will need to know swimming or climbing right? And another thing is that the plants in my swamp can germinate in salty water. And in fact I am making a story about a mythic beast from my island country and the creature lives near waters.

And this creature is the top predator of this island. But's as big as a Siberian tiger and has it's hind feet like flippers but it also has a tail fluke like a manatee. In fact it's an ambush predator, it hunts only at night or high tide.
 

TorrnT

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i would loose the manatee tail, only if you want to keep a believable evolution process, there is a reason all swamp creatures tails taper. Snagging.
The manatee tail serves great for open waters, though it would serve for that extra push in an ambush, but a vertebra tail with the dexterity of a spider monkeys would add to its ability to survive, a tail that can coil around your leg and ensnare you would be right at home within a swamp, the extra force needed for a fast ambush can be off set with more powerful hind legs.
But all that aside, the creature would not be able to negotiate through the viney tendrils of a mangrove, the tide would need to be a lot higher than 2 feet if your creature is to be able to have freedom of the mangrove.
Unless.... this creature has its own networks, gnawed threw vines and roots that would other wise make it impossible to maneuver, this would also have the added mystery, "hmmm these roots look as if they have been gnawed. Arrrggghh"
could help to track the beast, hunter becomes hunted or vice versa if your beast is intelligent and hunt in loose formation.
 

Creator

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Ok but my island is not all mangrove, it has watery pastures of seagrasses like Shark Bay.
 

TorrnT

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It is ultimately up to you, how much credibilty you put to your creature.
Many dont care to much, its nice to see someone that is putting in some forethought.
The island is rather small like the offshore islands of Singapore but the whole island is in fact a very big mangrove swamp
he he, i couldnt resist, forgive me.
yeah then the manatee tail would be good for a shark bay.:D
 

Lith

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Look at books about mangrove islands. Also check out books on brackish swamps like the bayou. One difference is that the bayou isn't an island, and therefore isn't subject to the open sea so much. Islands almost never have large animals such as cows or even pigs (Hawaii didn't have pigs till Europeans came, for instance). Mostly the island will attract birds, most of the animals will probably have gotten there by swimming.

But aren't mangroves also rather thick, i.e. not conducive to large things swimming about in them? Definitely run over to your local library.
 

Creator

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Hmm TorrnT is right so the predators here would be indeed well suited for ambush hunting than a chase. It suits my legendary beast very well as he is clumsy as most amphibious mammals are.

Ok but maybe the mangroves in my fic would probably be on small islets that cluster up like a thousand cornflakes in cereal. That means its not a island but a group of very small islets. The large spaces between the islets would be between the high tide and low tide zone so even at low tide its only at the depth of your thighs but at high tide it can engulf a person. Sound plausible?
 

Wiglaf

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Your world would have to be part of a binary planet system or having a relatively large moon such as earth does but with it much closer. Islands have tides usually under two feet, typically arround one foot. The coast has about three foot tides. Inlets can amplify them to two to three times that however. Could your island be inside a triangular bay in a larger land mass?
 

TheEndIsNigh

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Ok I wonder what kind of adaptations would the animals need on an environment I plan to make in a fiction. But it's rather believable as far as I can see.

The island is rather small like the offshore islands of Singapore but the whole island is in fact a very big mangrove swamp. Every time the tide rises at least 90% of the island is submerged in water. The flowering plants here are mostly mangroves and small shrubs and saltwater grasses.

Er'

Crocodiles - Alligators.

See Everglades - Florida which I understand is a just one big slow moving river.
 

TorrnT

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Maybe I'm getting to far ahead of myself here, but to expound on Wiglafs' excellent proposal, The moon would of course effect tides, but instead of worrying about distance and size, you can make your moon any size within reason, as mass effects gravity, thus allowing you to create maybe 2 moons, one on a fast orbit the other on a slower orbit, this would allow for many high tides within a month and one exceptionally high tide and one exceptionally low tide per month, this can create the feeling of urgency, if anything needs to be done within those time frames.

But back to your ambushing predator, Is it magical, id est, does it have any magical means of defense or attack or is it non magical?
Also, what do these mammals hunt, as this would give you a better idea of how this creature would attack.
Does it have a proffered prey, this would mean it evolved in a specialist way, having tricks or inherent knowledge on how to best get a meal.
Maybe it is a scavenger or an opportunist, what ever you decide its prey to be, it would be best to have that prey as a land/tree dweller, as this would give plausible reason for the creature to have the ability to launch attacks up and out of the water.
Other factors to be considered, can it chew? or does it have to roll to strip flesh from bone?
does it give birth in water or on land, the latter would allow for you to have the creature survive out of water for periods, unlike dolphin/whale type mammals.

A huge otter type creature would be most successful i would imagine, changing the jaws and features as you feel are appropriate for the overall look of your creature.
 
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Creator

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I see...

by the way, otters are the some of the antagonist animals in here. I am not going to be discriminate about animals in the way where Reptiles=bad and Mammal=good. See King Kong. This is a trope I am going to remove.

and basically there are semi aquatic mammals like long legged rabbits and smaller water deer. There are also unique birds the size of large geese that graze on the grasses and also dugongs that swim pretty fast. Predators include my top predator and also velociraptor-like baboons and the forementioned giant otters.

The only odd thing is that the animals here, their meat would taste a little bit like seafood and mammalian flesh, beefy...aftertaste.
 

soba

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Honestly, I cannot see how a land mammal crossed with water traits has anything to do with evolution. Let's start with fast tide thing...

Most of your animals are going to have to be ovoviviparous...that is, egg-laying. Live birth and the way it makes animals have limited mobility leading up to birth is not going to work well.
Next, a lot of your setting is in shallow water. This is interesting. The most efficient way to move might be like dolphin dives, but on a larger scale. Now we need some overdeveloped hind appendages.
Snakes and their subtypes would work well.
Bird types that can dive to prey are good.
Anything that is going to graze is probably going to be more like a hippo than a deer. Saltwater grasses (flowering or not) aren't going to have much nutrition, and grazing will need to take less energy...deer would have to be pretty big to be able to resist the tidal flows...or they'd need long legs...and hence long necks. Aquatic giraffes? With breathing passages in odd places?
Actually, breathing, with its changes in bouyancy, becomes a huge issue. Each time your huge animal takes a breath it pops up to the surface, and sinks when it expels its breath.

My mind goes to something resembling a stingray for moving about on mangrove mudflats to graze, and then has long, elegant legs for traipsing about on the exposed land. The legs fold up, or maybe splay out to gather weed when under water. They could raise up on the legs to spyhop during flooded times. Hmmmm.

And I'm thinking your predator could be more like a big-ass platypus...only better adapted for climbing and running. THAT would be scary.

just my two cents

soba
 

Creator

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OK here's what I have in mind.

here's a diagram of my habitat. Each islet is of random size and has mangrove growing on it. in between there are wide spaces which are exposed at low tide and I am asking if seagrasses can grow here.

Anyone can help?
 

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