The Monster Hunter World
OK, after days of speculation, I've finally decided what I feel that the Monster Hunter world is.
I used to think, when I first started playing MH Tri, that the MH world was just a fantastical world where different species of mythical creatures roamed. That was my initial thought.
Then, when I started becoming interested in the biology of these creatures (hence my extensive activity on the Monster Hunter Theory Blog), I began to form a theory as to how all of these wonderful creatures first evolved. My conclusions are written below.I figure now that the MH world is Earth, in an alternate dimension, where the K/T event never happened. That is to say, that dinosaurs and the like never went extinct. As millions of years passed, the dinosaurs would become rarer as mammals evolved and diversified, and eventually went extinct anyway. Instead, they left behind various families of Monster Hunter creatures.
Neopterons and Carapaceons
We all know (or at least, most of us know) that insects, arachnids, and other arthropods evolved millions of years before the dinosaurs did, indeed millions of years before reptiles themselves did! We also know that they've remained relatively unchanged for this entire time, except perhaps their size (for example, from hawk-sized dragonflies to the ones we have today).
In the MH world, Neopterons are a new family of insects. They don't replace insects, since Monster Hunter obviously has Bitterbugs and Thunderbugs roaming around the various biomes. Instead, they fill a different ecological niche, thanks to their tremendous size, which was brought on by the earth's lower gravity as well as increased oxygen levels.
Carapaceons, on the other hand (or pincer), evolved from the Chelicerates, a group of insect-like creatures that include spiders, scorpions, and horseshoe crabs (but not true crabs). The best I can figure is, Carapaceons like the Daimyo Hermitaur and Shen Gaoren evolved from horseshoe crabs, having a hermit-crab-like appearance due to convergent evolution, while Akura Vashimu and Akura Jebia evolved directly from the scorpions.
The Dinosaur Family Tree
We've already established the fact that dinosaurs themselves (except birds, obviously) have become extinct. However, they did leave behind three different legacies in the form of Saurian Herbivores, Brute Wyverns, and Bird Wyverns.
Herbivores evolved mostly from Ornithischian dinosaurs. Most of them are pretty much unrelated. For example, Aptonoth would have evolved from Hadrosaurs such as Hypacrosaurus, and Rhenoplos would have evolved from Ceratopsians such as Pachyrhinosaurus.
However, not all Herbivores would have evolved from Ornithischians. Epioth, according to myself, would have evolved from Sauropods. Instead of remaining on land (where predators would have become much more numerous, Wyverns and all), it would have retreated to the water and become permanently aquatic.
Brute Wyverns evolved from the Theropod dinosaurs, specifically, the Carnosaurs. They diversified into almost every ecological niche, forming herbivorous species like Duramboros and insectivorous species like Barroth, and moving into almost every habitat. As time went on, some of the Brute Wyverns would have evolved further into Flying Wyverns.
Flying Wyverns would have evolved from the Brute Wyverns because of a lack of large aerial species (pterosaurs having become extinct earlier on). Their arms would have lengthened to form wings, and their bones would have changed so that they were lighter and more aerodynamic. Most of them also evolved some sort of internal sac for fire-breathing or some other elemental purpose.
As for Monoblos and Diablos, they are Brute Wyverns that have remained unchanged midway through evolving into Flying Wyverns. This is supported by both their primitive appearance and brutish manner as well as their winged arms and somewhat lighter body structure.
Some Flying Wyverns, in turn, adapted to life in the water, becoming Piscine Wyverns. They gave up their flight skills in exchange for better adaptations to an aquatic lifestyle, but retained their elemental sacs (as proven by the Plesioth's water beam and Lavasioth's fireballs).
Bird Wyverns are the third group to have originally evolved from dinosaurs. Specifically, they evolved from the Maniraptorans, a group that includes the famous Velociraptor and Deinonychus. They split into all different kinds of creative forms, spreading into literally every available habitat (except, of course, underwater). Eventually, they split into two separate families: the Raptorial Bird Wyverns, which retain their raptor-like appearances, and the more advanced Avian Bird Wyverns, which look like true birds but are not directly related to them in any way.
Leviathans I originally considered another evolution of the Brute Wyverns, but I decided that they would be more closely related to seagoing reptiles such as Plesiosaurs or Mosasaurs. Clearly, these originally only-seagoing creatures adapted to life in fresh water as well as the land. These odd species include Agnaktor and Nibelsnarf and retain their aquatic behaviour, swimming through lava and sand, respectively.
The rest of the family continue to dwell mostly in the sea, although they can journey into the fresh water of swamps and lakes as well.
The Mammal Family Tree
Mammals, unlike dinosaurs, didn't go extinct. However, they did split into different groups: the Mammalian Herbivores, the Pelagi, and a little later, the Lynians.
Mammalian Herbivores include species like Popo, Kelbi, and Anteka. Obviously, Kelbi and Anteka are from the deer family and Popo are from the elephant family. They are far less common than the Saurian Herbivores, however.
Pelagi are a much larger group, and evolved from various families such as swine (e.g. Bullfango), apes (e.g. Congalala), and ursines (e.g. Arzuros). They can be found in every habitat, like Bird Wyverns. Some Pelagi split off from the rest, now known as Fanged Wyverns.
Fanged Wyverns have long since thought to be evolved from the Pelagi, and I support this theory. They do have mammalian origins, which in turn have reptilian origins. So Fanged Wyverns look like something out of the Triassic period. Some of the Fanged Wyverns, like their ancestors, split off from the main group to form an even more reptilian one, the Pseudowyverns.
I know what you must be thinking. The MH games classify Pseudowyverns as being directly related to the Flying Wyverns. However, I personally believe that they evolved from the Fanged Wyverns, a totally unrelated breed. Most of them have a mammal-like appearance (Nargacuga and Barioth, for example), which is evidence to this theory. Pseudowyverns such as the Gigginox, on the other hand, are super-advanced and look nothing like mammals, however they are undoubtedly related.
Lynians evolved from the mammals a little later than the Pelagi and Herbivores did. Obviously, they are descended from members of the Carnivora group such as lions or panthers. Yes, that includes Shakalakas. We've never seen the true face of one, so what do we know?
The only flaw in my Pseudowyvern theory was Tigrex. It looks nothing like a mammal, like the Gigginox, but unlike the Gigginox, it is said to be a very primitive creature from ancient times. That means it isn't hyper-advanced like some other Pseudowyverns. For me, placing Tigrex in a family was a problem, because every time I did, it contradicted one of my theories.
What I finally did was place Tigrex in a family of its own. My idea is that Tigrex evolved millions of years before, in the Permian period, from mammal-like reptiles such as Dimetrodon. It has remained completely unchanged since, making it the wyvern equivalent of the coelacanth.
As for how the game groups it with other Pseudowyverns, I believe that we've had a similar situation here in this dimension. Biologists once grouped elephants, rhinos, and hippos in their own family called the Pachyderms. However, we now know that this is very wrong, and the family Pachydermata is considered an "unnatural" grouping. Putting Tigrex with the Pseudowyverns is another, similar, mistake. The best I can figure is that Tigrex's appearance is the result of convergent evolution.
Elder Dragons were another problem. I finally decided that they had evolved from the Fanged Wyverns, just as the Pseudowyverns did. This is supported by the fact that Lunastra and Teostra look a lot like mammals. Because of this, I put the two of them in their own little section, like I did with Monoblos and Diablos. Eventually, Elder Dragons became the most diverse group of all, with ocean-going species like Ceadeus and gigantic species like Lao-Shan Lung.
I only have one hole in this theory, and that's Fatalis and his two "brothers". The legend says that they're the oldest of all Elder Dragons, but that can't be right, since I already established that Lunastra and Teostra are one of the oldest. However, now I think that the legend isn't talking about the age of the species, but the age of the individuals themselves.
The two "problem" Elder Dragons, Kirin and Yama Tsukami, I didn't put on this chart because, at the time, I couldn't decide where they would go. At the time, I thought that they would be hyper-evolved Elder Dragons that gave themselves totally unrelated appearances because of some extreme environmental adaptation. I now think that Kirin is a mammal or Pelagus, and that Yama Tsukami is a Cnidarian (e.g. jellyfish).
There you go. Feel free to comment on, compliment, or contradict these theories. No matter what any of you say, I'm not changing my opinion. Remember, this is a theory, meaning that it is the result of pure, idle speculation. Thank you for your time.
- Cottonmouth255 (Cm25)