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Disclaimer: This question is the second of a new series of questions of mine about introducing hexapeds to the fauna of my conworld. There are/will be other questions addressing i.a.: characteristics, ecosystems, evolutionary factors


Setting: In my conworld the world is divided into two humongous continents, each taking up about half of the total landmass of the planet. Each located at the Northern and Southern poles respectively.

Map Northern Hemisphere

1 Equatorial Belt    | Saltwater
2                    | Saltwater
5 Northern Polar Sea | Saltwater
6                    | Sweetwater

Fauna: The Beasts-of-Burden (further BOB) coexist with many other animals and have coevolved with them. They do not directly supplant any other group of earth animals; they fill their own niche as the largest docile herbivore of the more mountainous regions (more info on its characteristics).
Other than BOBs, the conworld contains most of the families of earth fauna & flora but with much less variety in species (thus there are horses, cattle, goats, wolves, and so forth). There are also other hexapeds, although likely not as various as quadrupeds.

Hexapeds: Besides the BOBs there are a bunch of different, as of yet not clearly defined, hexapeds. For the sake of this question we assume there to be hexapeds fitting into different categories of land-based mammalia. Thus there are likely some more, maybe smaller hexaped-herbivores. There's likely to be some hexaped-rodents (e.g. hexarats which can climb buildings easily), as well as there are bound to be predatory hexapeds (at least some will have evolved to more efficiently hunt hexarats, let's call them hexacats).
Still none of these will feature a pair of hands.


Question: Where do BOB fit into Linnaean taxonomy? And why did you put it there?

Bonus (for additional points): Where would the BOB fit in modern (current day) taxonomy?

The question only looks at this northern continent.
The question does not ask for the plausibility of a six-legged mammal in general.

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  • $\begingroup$ What do you mean by others? "Where do BOB and others fit into Victorian era taxonomy". Isn't BOB just one animal? $\endgroup$ – Skye Sep 23 '16 at 13:57
  • $\begingroup$ @Skye other hexapeds $\endgroup$ – dot_Sp0T Sep 23 '16 at 13:59
  • $\begingroup$ By "Linnaean" taxonomy do you mean you want the answer to be intentionally antiquated and incorrect as Linnaeus might have done or do you want a modern, correct classification? The wiki link you give enumerates the 2 possible interpretations. $\endgroup$ – Mike Nichols Sep 23 '16 at 14:34
  • $\begingroup$ @MikeNichols intentionally antiquated and 'incorrect' in this case; but as the bonus states you may additionally mention correct modern day taxonomy as well; The reason for wanting it to be antiquated is the fact that my world at the state where I need this data is, regarding their society somewhere around the victorian era in many areas $\endgroup$ – dot_Sp0T Sep 23 '16 at 14:36
  • $\begingroup$ Two additional questions. Is the Theory of Evolution discovered/accepted in your world yet? And to what extent do the other hexapod species diverge? Are all hexapod species gentle grazers and herd animals or are there predatory hexapods or rodent-like hexapods? Arboreal hexapods? Aquatic hexapods? If they are all herd animals then they would likely all be a subcategorization of Pecora. Otherwise they would need a very different classification scheme. $\endgroup$ – Mike Nichols Sep 23 '16 at 14:49
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This is rather antiquated as yourself allow, but it is a fixed system. There isn't much room to get it wrong.

These hexapeds are evidently Animalia, and incorrectly classifed as Mammalia. It should be evident that it doesn't belong to Aves (birds), Amphibia, Pisces (fish), Insecta, nor Vermes (worms). That part is easy...

Now, let's see...

  • Belluae: Fore-teeth: obtuse, Feet: hoofed, Motion: heavy, Food: gathering vegetables. (?)
  • Bestiae: Fore-teeth: indefinite numbers on the sides, always have one extra canine, Nose: elongate, used to dig, Food: digs out juicy roots and vermin. (✘)
  • Bruta: Fore-teeth: none in any jaw, Tusks: in elephants and manatees, Feet: with strong hoof-like nails, Motion: slow, Food: (mostly) masticated vegetables. (?)
  • Cete: Fins: pectoral instead of feet, Tail: horizontal, flattened, Claws: none, Hair: none, Teeth: in some cartilaginous, in some bony, Nostrils: none, instead of which is a fistulous opening in the anterior and upper part of the head, Food: mollusca & fish, Habitation: the ocean. (✘)
  • Ferae: Fore-teeth: conic, usually 6 in each jaw, Tusks: longer, Grinders: with conic projections, Feet: with claws, Claws: subulate, Food: carcasses and preying on other animals. (✘)
  • Glires: Fore-teeth: cutting, 2 in each jaw, Tusks: none, Feet: with claws formed for running and bounding, Food: bark, roots, vegetables, etc., which they gnaw. (?)
  • Pecora: Fore-teeth: no upper, lower cutting, many, Feet: hoofed, cloven, Food: herbs which they pluck, chews the cud, Stomach: 1) the paunch to macerate and ruminate the food, 2) the bonnet, reticulate, to receive it, 3) the omasus, or maniplies of numerous folds to digest it, 4) and the abomasus', or caille, fasciate, to give it acescency and prevent putrefaction. (?)
  • Primates: Fore-teeth: cutting, upper 4 parallel, (except in some species of bats which have 2 or none), Tusks: solitary, that is, one on each side, in each jaw, Teats: 2 pectoral, Feet: 2 are hands, Nails: (usually) flattened, oval, Food: fruits, except a few who use animal food. (✘)

So, I can only put it with: Belluae, Bruta, Glires, and Pecora. Or make its own division.

Now, Bulluae has horeses and things mistaken for horses. Bruta has a bunch of things classified wrong. Glires has rodens and rhinoceros for some reason. And Pecora got all the ruminants.

Since BOB is a rumiant, I'll say it is Pecora. But there is nothing on Pecora like it, so it will have its own division. Made up, of course.

The Taxnomy is as follows:

  • Kingdom: Animal
  • Class: Mammalia
  • Order: Pecora
  • Genus: Mactpora※
  • Species: BOB

※: "Mactpo" Cortesy of The Random Word Machine.

Note: Linnaeus originally had "Quadrupedia" instead of Mammalia, which would have made things worse. In fact he had this "Paradoxa" for thing he didn't know where to put. I'm going with the final version he published. Times has changed.


Thus there are likely some more, maybe smaller hexaped-herbivores. There's likely to be some hexaped-rodents (e.g. hexarats which can climb buildings easily), as well as there are bound to be predatory hexapeds (at least some will have evolved to more efficiently hunt hexarats, let's call them hexacats).

If the staged digestive system is only incidental, they couldn't all be Pecora. Although, There is a problem. Because these hexacats eat exarats, thus they are not herbivores. In fact, they would be classified under Ferae.

We go from the field of antiquated taxonomy to the field of “necropsycology” anthropology: What would Carl Linnaeus think about these hexapeds?

Before Mammalia was stablished, there was Quadrupedia. So, it isn't hard to imagine Hexapedia as a class apart from Mammalia that would host all the hexapeds. In fact, since I consider mammary glands in these animals to be convergent evolution, I consider a separate class from Mammalia the correct solution for modern taxonomy (except the name is wrong, I haven't figured a better name).

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