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Class: Archotheria
Meaning of Name: Ruling Beasts
Archotheres are the dominant life forms on Gaia. There is little specialisation in their limbs, in fact most commonly all six limbs are used for the same purpose. The number of digits in Archotheres varies from five to one in some clades. Archotheres are viviparous and all orders show parental care. The secondary eye is very small in Archotheres, especially in predators. Fur has evolved independently in several orders.

Order: Breviscelia
Meaning of Name: Short Legs
Range: Petria, Pizcuetaland, Peadia, Thakea, Chome and Miland.
Brevisceledids are small predators, rarely exceeding 1 meter in length. They have short legs and are consequently low-slung and close to the ground. Brevisceledids prefer to live in forested habitats on 4 of Gaia's continents where they wait for passing prey in burrows. The prey of Brevisceledids can be small or quite large. Brevisceledids grab their prey using their dorsal and ventral jaws and stab them with their lateral jaws. Witnesses of Brevisceledids catching their prey have likened it to "a crocodile attacking a zebra, but on land". This has lead to many common names including: Land-crocs, Landodiles, Landies, Burrow-crocs and Ground-crocs.

Although small and timid, Brevisceledids have one of the strongest sets of jaws on Gaia and are aggressive when they want to be.

Order: Venatoria
Meaning of Name: Hunter
Range: Petria, Pizcuetaland.
Venatorians, or Venators to us their common name, are Gaia's main predators comparable to cats and bears on Earth. They are among the smartest animals on Gaia and pack hunters aren't uncommon. All six digitigrade limbs have two full toes and one atrophied one. Venatorians kill their prey by stabbing them with their lateral jaws. While most Venatorians are hunters there are scavenging species and even piscivorous swimmers.

Order: Monodactyla
Meaning of Name: One digit.
Range: Petria, Pizcuetaland, Peadia.
Monodactyls are the archetypal herbivores on Gaia, so named because of the single toe on all six feet. Only the medial and posterior limbs are digitigrade. They don't have tails or tail bones. Though they are often compared to deer and antelope there are also rhinoceros like browsers and pig like omnivores among their ranks. Monodactyls use their lateral jaws to uproot ground plants and break apart branches and leaves, depending on diet. Like deer and antelope, some Monodactyls have horns which can be made of bone, fused "hair" or pure keratin.

Order: Alloforma
Meaning of Name: Different form.
Range: Petria, Pizcuetaland, Peadia.
While Monodactyls are the most famous herbivores on Gaia, they are not the only ones. The Alloformes are the largest herbivores on Gaia and are so named because of their unusual anatomy. While most Gaian vertebrates have their organs running down the length of their body, Alloformes have moved theirs so that they now stop at their medial limbs. The medial limbs could no longer be attached to the ribs and so developed their own pelvis. These changes have lengthened Alloformes quite a bit.

Alloformes have three toes on their posterior and medial limbs and four fingers on the anterior limbs. The hands on the anterior limbs of smaller Alloformes have a "false digit", like pandas on Earth, to help them grasp objects. Larger Alloformes don't have this false digit.   

Order: Macrognatha
Meaning of Name: Big Jaw
Range: Peadia, Chome, Thakea
Macrognathans are one of the strangest vertebrates on Gaia. They walk with bipedal gait on three toed digitigrade posterior limbs, their anterior limbs are arms and their medial limbs are smaller versions of the latter and have a long rod-like tail. But the strangest thing about this clade is the hypertrophied lateral jaws of males. These jaws are used in displays to attract females and intimidate rivals. The jaws are so large that males can't feed themselves and require their mates to feed them. In fact males that don't find a mate usually die, therefore males and females liv together. Macrognathans have varied diets. Hunters, scavengers, insectivores and piscivores are among their ranks.

Order: Onychophora   
Meaning of name: Claw Bearer
Range: Petria,Pizcuetaland, Peadia, Thakea and Chome.
Onychoophorans are herbivores that live in small, but fiercely territorial family groups. They may look similar to Macrognathans but it is debatable how closely related they actually are. The medial arms of  Onychophorans are the same size as their anterior arms, both of which have four clawed fingers on them. The digitigrade feet have two toes each and a spur, for which the group is named.   

Order: Ophicaudia
Meaning of Name: Snake Tail
Range: Petria, Pizcuetaland, Peadia, Thakea, Chome and Miland.
Ophicaudids are Gaia's rodents. They have lost their posterior limbs and pelvis leaving them with a muscular snake-like tail. Two-thirds of their length is generally tail. They move by pushing their bodies forwards with their tail and limbs.Some species have become completely legless. They live everywhere and there are arboreal,aquatic and subterranean species along with terrestrial ones. Live Earth rodents Ophicaudids eat everything that can be eaten.

Order: Xenodactyla
Meaning of Name: Strange digits
Range: Petria, Pizcuetaland, Peadia, Chome.
Xenodactyls are so called because their anterior limbs have not one opposable digit, but two. They climb the trees of Gaia as its primates. Like primates Xenodactyls have long tails, some prehensile, some not, and are quite smart. The medial limbs are very small and are used only to groom themselves and one another. In "apes" the medial limbs have completely disappeared. Xenodactyls are generally herbivorous and fructivorous.

Order: Synpterygia
Meaning of Name: With Fins
Range: World wide
Whether filtering Paraplankton or chasing Hexapterygians, Synpterygians are Gaia's whales and dolphins. They have a half-diamond shaped fluke at the end of their tale stretched out the sides. Their posterior fins are, though separate from the fluke, part of the tail. The medial fins have disappeared in the larger filter feeding forms but remain in smaller species, providing manoeuvrability and folding up against the sides when not needed. The anterior fins are exactly like they are in Earth cetaceans.
The first class for the fauna of the planet Gaia. I will go more in depth with each order at a later point.

Should have put these up ages ago, but here's some amazing concept art by electreel:

A Xenodactyl: [link]

A Venator: [link]

An unidentified lifeform: [link]
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:iconpalaeorigamipete:
palaeorigamipete Featured By Owner May 21, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Wow! =D
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:iconleggurm:
Leggurm Featured By Owner May 21, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Thanks! As I said I'll go into depth and write some species for each order.
Reply
:iconpalaeorigamipete:
palaeorigamipete Featured By Owner May 21, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Awesome! =)
Reply
:iconleggurm:
Leggurm Featured By Owner May 21, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
And I might change some of this as time gows by.
Reply
:iconpalaeorigamipete:
palaeorigamipete Featured By Owner May 22, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Anything you see fit! =)
Reply
:iconleggurm:
Leggurm Featured By Owner May 21, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
I mean, goes.
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