Good evening everyone. Before I even start writing any further, I must warn and apologise for my heresies against the English Language, as I am not its native speaker.
Coming back to the topic I was always very interested in the science of biology, especially in the branches of systematics and classification. Therefore a strange and alien lifeforms of Morrowind were only another challenge for both imagination and a common sense to classify under existing and fictional taxa, with possible evolutionary history.
Beginning with most differentiated and and (almost) widespread group of organisms - Silt striders, kwama, shalks, mud crabs, and possibly dreugh and netch. These organisms share enough common traits to be classified within arthropoda However no modern arthropods do reach the size of kwama, not even mentioning the silt striders. Henceforth I have deducted 2 possible hypothesis that can explain this phenomena: 1. It is somehow influence of ash filled with Red mountains power (which usually is just blight) that alows such large creatures to breathe and stand 2. These creatures have somehow developed proper efficient lungs, circulatory and muscular systems. As the second hypothesis fits my conclusions better I shall stick to it, and create classification based on it. The group of "great insects" I should call the "Loropulmonae" the "large lungs" in dog latin (for the sake of fun and games that is)
Second problem that was encountered in the classification were namely dreugh and netch. If it comes to dreugh, they were most probably somehow similar to some arthropods or even members of group mentioned before, yet they are magically/whatsortingly modified that I did not bother classyfying them anywhere in my charts. If it comes to netch, however it is completely different problem. They seem to mostly resemble jellyfish, or other sea organisms that would eventually rise in the air to explore profits of land water sources to feed in. However the bilateral symmetry of netch bulls shows that they might actually be somehow related to Loropulmonae as they posses 6 limbs and simplified carapace; while females might be neotenous larvae that will later grow into male form or heavily dimorphic, regressed to simpler, radially symetric form. And the ability to fly is presumably somewhat descendant from silt strider like predescessors who wouldhave to be hollow inside to not collapse under their own weigh and leave some place in chitinous carapace to change the volume of the lungs. Which could probably be organs that led to development of gaseous sacks in netch. Also, not using chitin would make them much lighter- therefore they are softer and more leather like.
Now coming to the reptiles of Vvanferdell (I can never spell it properly) All of guar, alit and kagouti seem to have a common relative that has lost 2 front legs for some reason. Presumably it was something similar to guar, and realistically to boar- giat jaw could search for food continously, even laid on the ground, making front legs obsolete. Both guar and kagouti possibly share vegetarian diet (guar would however turn back to grazing on grass, making even small front legs somehow usefull for lifting body) however as alits have no tusks to rip up ground, they have adapted to the role of ambush predator, jumping from bushes at mostly guar, for there is nothing really big to eat in morrowind. Also, all of these creatures proabably could be included in archosauria due to their posture and sucesfull bipedal movement.
For the next bit -the dreaded and infamous cliff racer. Damn you Jiub for you have destroyed one of the most majestic creatures of Morrowind and proabably turned local ecosystems into dust. But, how these strange flying creatures got here in the first place? There are few hypothesis: 1. They are descendants of marine reptiles that would already have developed fins, similar to ichtiosauria; In such case a reason to leave water would be a behavior similar to found in flying fish- to get away from the slaughterfish. 2. They are descendants of birds, who due to ash storms and such would lose most feathers and use hard leather webbing instead, whis is not handy in the woods, but in the desert- could be. 3. They are descendants of the group of reptiles that include guar and kagouti- this explains lack of two limbs.
And for the last bit: life cycle of kwama: 1. from the egg laid by queen, a small scrib emerges. most of them are well hidden in the depths of the colony, however some wander around as workers fail to gather them all. They perform some basic, mostly organic andd pheromone related tasks within the colony, that is why they have legs at all. 2. Scrob moults into: worker, which is a basic pattern found later in kwama (important- loses a pair of limbs) or a forager which loses all limbs and most of outer shell. Workers work only inside the colony, while foragers not only search places for new colonies but mainly just eat whatever tasty they find and bring it back to the colony- that is why they are small, do not cost much resources from the colony and are generally expendable. 3. Warrir however is a different thing. It most presumably appears in larger numbers only in signs of danger, when foragers will not leave colony and eventually fuse with workers, changing them via pheromones to rise up on their back and fight enemy. Only few of them are present in normal colonies. Last possible moulting froms from the scrib is the queen, as she follows the pattern of all other forms, while maintainig 6 limbs, therefore it is not just another form of worker & forager.
At the end - a simplified classification list:
Arthropoda:Crustacea: Mud Crab
I have written. Good night