A chart I made because I got bored in my Graphics Communications class.
If you somehow couldn't tell already, this blog contains spoilers Warning: Any creatures that are exclusive to Below Zero may changed. Any info on them is limited at the moment. What they are related to or how they are related can change. Below Zero creatures that are cut candidates or do not have any official model or concept art available to the public will not be on the chart.
Note: Only animals are counted in this chart. Things like coral and flora aren't on here. Due to limited info and because there just isn't enough room.
Black- related. (Confirmed by the PDA or other official sources, like dev posts or concept art) (Black lines pointing to red text are fan theories with solid proof)
Red = possible relation (fan theories).
Blue = other (other reasons).
Common Ancestors- Theorised creatures (Black = stated by PDA, red = fan theorised relation
Snow Flake- Creatures exclusive to Below Zero
- A meteor crashed into the Dunes at an unknown time. This may have caused a minor extinction event, similar to what has happened to Earth multiple times. (Due to the Almanac Cache in the place where the meteor struck not having a normal entrance and having a knocked over pillar it could be possible that it hit the planet less than 1000 years ago)
- Due to the attack on the DRF and kharaa being released into the waters. Around 70% of the species on the planet went extinct.
Due to these events, and just plain luck for a dead creature to be in the right condition to fossilize. Many creatures in the history of the planet have gone extinct and left no fossil record behind. This causes gaps in an evolution chart. Making it hard to place creatures that had all their close relatives go extinct and leave nothing behind. This is very similar to what has happened on Earth in the past.
Families and More
The Bladderfish is a small harmless fish that has evolved to move by pumping water out of pipes through the membrane, feeding on organic detritus simultaneously, this means it can't move that fast. The Hoopfish is the closest living relative of the Bladderfish and has a unique method of movement; the density of the water in front of it can be altered by the green antennae surrounding the body, which allows it to "sail" through an area of low density water. The Spinefish is a subspecies of the Hoopfish. The Spinefish has evolved translucent flesh with white, rib-like markings. This gives a skeletal appearance which is used to play dead in the hopes that they will be ignored by predators.
The Boomerang Family is a family of three boomerang-shaped creatures that appear very closely related. The Boomerang is a small, passive fauna species that is found widely throughout the crater. The Magmarang is a Boomerang subspecies that is found only in the Inactive Lava Zone. The Arctic Boomerang is a Boomerang adapted to the cold. Boomerangs have evolved to have Serrated Teeth so they can eat corals other small creatures are unable to digest. The cartilaginous twin tails of the Boomerangs provide superior propulsion and are less prone to damage.
The members of this family are invertebrates, have multiple legs and can walk around on the sea floor. While Cave Crawlers often live above land they are amphibious, able live underwater if necessary (though they cannot swim). The Blood Crawler and Cave Crawler are closely related. While the Crabsquid may be a more distant relation. The Crabsquid had evolve to have an EMP blast as a way to counter the rise of a fauna that had electrical attacks. The Crabsquid is a theorised member of this group due to the Cave Crawler having a gas exchange membrane which could be similar to the Crabsquid's inflated membrane. (as pointed out by Bippity)
These creatures evolved from an older eel-like creature. The River Prowler has no electrical prongs so either it has lost them completely or split earlier than the Ampeel and Ghost Leviathan, which according to the PDA both possess the electrical prongs, though in the Ghost Leviathan's case they are covered by its membrane, favouring cave navigation.
The Sea Dragon and Sea Emperor, two giant creatures with many similarities. While one can fire magma and another can cure Kharaa. These two species most likely came from the same ancestor. The Sea Dragon has arms with large hands, perfect for slapping prey, while the Sea Emperor has paddle arms used for swimming and climbing. The Sea Dragon is one of the oldest creatures on the planet and is nearing extinction. Interesting, the skeletal remains of the Sea Dragon in the Lost River shows the creature has upside down ribs. The Gargantuan Leviathan ribs are also upside down. Assuming the ribs didn't topple over and are actually supposed to be upside down. It may be possible that the Gargantuan Leviathan and Sea Dragons are distant relatives. This might also just be convergent evolution.
The Holefish and Titan Holefish are two distant relatives. The Holefish moves through the side to side movement of its tail and by changing the size and shape of the hole whilst swimming it can perform unpredictable movements. The Titan Holefish is a giant relative of the tropical Holefish, and has most likely lost the ability to swim in the same manner as its relative, relying entirely on the enlarged tail fin. The Titan Holefish is native to the Arctic Biome and is in a symbiotic relationship with a small aggressive species known as the Symbiote. Symbiotes lay their eggs in a gel-like substance in the tail hollow of the Titan Holefish. This lets the eggs extract nutrients and oxygen to grow. In return, the Symbiote protect the Titan Holefish from predators and remove parasites from the Titan's Holefish body. The tropical Holefish does not share this kind of relationship.
As the name suggests. These creatures are all descendants of a common ancestor with large eyes. The Alpha Peeper developed photosensitive skin on each side of its body capable of distinguishing between light and dark, potentially becoming the first creature to evolve vision. The photosensitive skin later became eyes which are prioritised in most members of the group. Sometime later it split into the Peeper, Eyeye and Reginald. The Reginald and Peeper appear closer to each other than the Eyeye due to their shared trait of two side-mounted eyes rather than the Eyeye's singular, frontal eye. At some point a school of Peepers were trapped in the Jellyshroom Cave and adapted, forming a new species; the Oculus. The Eyeye and Red Eyeye are extremely close relatives, but it is unclear whether the Eyeye or Red Eyeye came first. Despite having one eye, the Spadefish is not said to be a member of this group, so likely evolved its singular large eye through convergence. The Ice Peeper is a Peeper species that has evolved to live in colder environments. The Ice Peeper has skin that is slightly transparent. It also has tendrils instead of siphons like the Peeper and Oculus. This suggests that, despite their more similar appearances the Ice Peeper is in fact more distant to the Peeper than the Oculus.
Large Invertebrates Family - Reefback
The Reefbacks, along with the crab group are invertebrates, evolving a chitinous shell to protect their bodies from predators. Any predator capable of breaking the shell is most likely extinct. Reefbacks have very long lifespans and can live centuries. Reefbacks eat by releasing enzymes into the water. While the glands that hold the enzyme look similar to Gasopod's glands, they are not closely related.
The Stalker is one of the oldest creatures on the planet. Hitting the sweet spot of both speed and size. It has no bioluminescence and has large, shiny teeth, so may have some distant relation to the Lava Lizard which has a similar tooth structure and also lacks bioluminescence. The Snowstalker is a relative of the Stalker that has adapt to walk on land and swim in water. It is an aggressive predator. Sharing many key traits with the Stalker in appearance.
Several features possessed by the Stalker may imply that it evolved from a land-dwelling ancestor, meaning that the Snowstalker may be closer to the ancestral form of the Stalker group.
The Pengwing and Pinnacarid family. Possibly distant relation due to appearance such as beaks, same number of eyes and similar looking respiratory orifices. Info is still pretty limited mainly due to the current small data bank for the Pinnacarid.
The Ray family is a family of the ray-like creatures (duh). The Alpha Ray is the last common ancestor of the group. Initially the Alpha Ray was a predator that hunted smaller animals. Over time it lost its predatory ways and became a bottom feeder, eventually splitting into several distinct lineages, four of which live today (Possibly six with the Arctic Ray and Arrow Ray ). All members of the group possess toxic skin. The Jellyray, Rabbit Ray, Ghostray and Crimson Ray are the only living members of the group, of which, the Ghostray and Crimson Ray still retain the more primitive characteristic of forwards-mounted eye sockets from their predatory ancestors. The Jellyray and Ghostray retained the transparent skin of their ancestor whilst the Rabbit Ray and Crimson Ray have evolved opaque skin. The Ghostray and Jellyray are said to be the oldest members of the group whilst the Rabbit Ray and Crimson Ray are more recent species. Current info is limited on the Arctic Ray and Arrow Ray, but since all the current aquatic rays are related, the Arctic Ray and Arrow Ray may be in the group. Though based on a drastically different morphology it is possible that the Arctic Ray is not related to this group at all. Interesting, the Arctic Ray is carnivorous like the Alpha Ray, despite the databank and the PDA mistakenly listing the Arctic Ray as a herbivore. This is just a developer oversight. Due to its carnivorous nature, it may be possible the Arctic Ray were a group of Alpha Rays that never lost their predatory behavior. The Arctic Ray may of also split off earlier before the Alpha Ray as well which could explain the difference in fins. The current databanks for the Arctic Ray and Arrow Ray also never mention they have toxic skin.
These creatures likely evolved from a large predator that had a segmented exoskeleton, one pair of eyes and fins. The biggest split in the group is between the Boneshark and all other members. The Boneshark lineage split off prior to the development of a second pair of eyes whilst all other known members possess two pairs of eyes. The Biter and Blighter have completely lost their exoskeleton to allow for greater speed and manoeuvrability whilst its relatives have retained it for defensive purposes. The Sand Shark and Rockgrub both burrow and possess strange leg-like appendages so it may be possible that the common ancestor of those two was also a burrower.
Creatures that are Exceptions
The friendly fish that follows you around and likes magic tricks, tickles and more. Its origin is unknown. The PDA states that the Cuddlefish either came from a completely different planet or was genetically modified. It can understand commands like Earth dolphins, which are extinct during the time the game takes place.
A strange teleporting creature with robotic parts. Built by the Almanacs to kill anything with high levels of Kharaa. It was created from body parts of dozens of different creatures that were from different planets.
The Unused Creatures Evolution Chart
NOTE: This is a chart about UNUSED creatures.
The Unused Creatures have their name in blue. While the ones that are used, have their name in black. Note since these creatures are unused, little info is avaible on them. This chart is based off concept art descriptions, not my opinion.
Due to this creatures being cut. I wont go into as much detail about them as I did for the main chart. Especially with the Reefback Family due to it already being mentioned earlier in the chart just without the Ice Breaker.
Reaper Family - Reaper Leviathan and Crested Reaper
The Reaper Leviathan and Crested Reaper are each unique in their own way. For one, the Crested Reaper is not a leviathan like its relative and the Crested Reaper would have lived in the Arctic. The Reaper Leviathan also uses echolocation to hunt its prey and encircles them. While we do not know if the Crested Reaper also had echolocation. We do know that it would have hunted by ramming into ice to knock prey into the waters.
Crabsquid Family - Crabsquid and Pygym Crabsquid
Like stated earlier, the Crabsquid gained its EMP abilities to counter the rise of fauna with electrical abilities. The Pygym Crabsquid on the other hand seemed to have not gained this ability and is instead attracted to electrical sources. There is no know reason why it is attracted to them due to the Pygym Crabsquid being cut.
Reefback Family - Reefback Leviathan and Ice Breaker
This family is the similar to the actual Reefback Family listed above, with the difference being that the Ice Breaker is in this one. The concept art for the Ice Breaker said it evolved from the Reefback, hence its placement.
Hoverfish Family - Hoverfish and Hover Lizard
Due to the lack of info not much can be said other than the fact that these creatures share a common ancestor that hovered on the surface of the water.
Anomaly's Remake Progress
Anomaly has been taking their time to make a remake of this chart that looks a lot better.
Large Eyed Creature Family
Segmented Exoskeleton/Double Eye Sockets Family
Bippity has their own awesome version with their own Interpretations (the main difference between theirs and mine is that Bippity is more based on the appearance of creatures and if it is logical for similar creatures to be close relatives. while mine is more based in databanks. Bippity's version also has better family names that are more scientific, and Bippity's has a transparent background. if you are biologist person I recommend checking it out) if you want to see from a different POV, click Here
BippityBop (Helped fix info I got wrong
. which happened to much, made some of the mini charts in the family section, and gave other possible relations)
AnomalyDetected (Remaking this chart :D) (well I at least think they still are doing it)
All the pictures are from the Subnautica Wikia, so I don't own the images
The concept art of the expansion creatures are not mine. They belong to the concept artist the made them (i.e Alex Ries) They are only being used as placeholders until ingame screenshots of these creatures are made.
The useless change log for people who want to see how the chart has changed overtime
1.0: Chart made
1.1: moved Gasopod, moved Sandshark/Biter family around, removed tree leach, made grave yard bigger with more fauna. Fixed typos.
1.2 moved Crabsquid (idea came from bippity) added credits, added bloom plankton to graveyard
1.3: fixed overlapping issue, added trivia, added possible DLC creature off to the side, added something stupid
1.4: moved Lava Lizard and Bladder Fish around. Added more text.
1.4.1: fixed duplicate Bladder Fish
1.5: added Arctic Reefback, fixed a bunch of overlapping issues, made it easier to tell apart from Fan Theories and PDA Theories
2.0: Chart overhaul, looks a bit nicer instead of looking something like a 1st grader made.
2.0.1: mistakes were made. Stalker tree fixed. Vertebrate > invertebrate
2.1: added missing thing. Compressed image a bit.
2.2: Arctic Creatures :D removed reefback family. D:
2.3: EVEN MORE ARCTIC CREATURES :D, moved Peeper Family up to make more room for ray family
2.3.1: EVEN MORE ARCTIC CREATURES AGAIN :D, Stalker family, Boomerang and unclear placement updated.
2.3.2: Updated chart to include the final Ice Peeper model, added stuff to unclear placement
2.3.3: Readded Reefback :D
2.3.4: Added Noot Fish.
3.0 Massive chart overhaul, things look nicer and it is a bit more accurate. Arctic Creatures now have a snowflake next to them
3.1 Polished the chart rework so lines are more straight. Added a bunch of Arctic creatures. Replace some arctic creatures with ingame models so they no longer use concept art. Moved unclear placement off the chart into its own picture in an attempt to stop the main chart from loosing too much quallity. Removed the creature that might get the ax. I will add it back if they get added to the game. Removed the family names off the chart. It took up room and it is useless to have them if the family section of the blog shows the corresponding part of the chart.
3.1.1 Replaced concept art images with ingame screenshots as they look nicer
3.1.2 Update unclear placement as a lot of cut candidate creatures were made no longer cut candidates
1. Maybe, add Membrain Tree to the chart since it technically isn't a flora. By extent the Sea Crown would have to be added to the chart as well (Still up to debate) (medium priority)
2. Add more Arctic Creatures if more are announced. (very high priority)
3. Make colorblind friendly chart for those who are colorblind but are interested in the chart? (low priority)
4. Replace all the concept art pictures with ingame screenshots when they become available. (very high priority)