Scientific Accuracy Feedback and Factual Suggestions Megathread

Ever since the beta I've noticed the need for such a megathread to compile all the factual feedback given here and there, so we can have everything nice and organized and in one place for it to be easily accessible by the developers and users alike. This is a game many of us have waited for over a decade and in the long run I don't want people to have an excuse to underestimate or minimize the entire project for easy to fix factual errors, whether they affect gameplay or not.

I was going to create this thread earlier as I've mentioned but I wanted to wait some time into launch so the team can catch a break from fixing important and sometimes game breaking issues that were introduced with the launch. In game development playability is always > details such as these.

I will always keep this thread updated, crossing over fixed items on the list as well adding new ones. Mind you, the list will be significantly incomplete with the initial posting, focusing mostly on issues that haven't been mentioned before or rarely mentioned. In addition to this, I want the thread to grow with user input/responses, so your comments below are most valuable. I will be checking every comment and adding them to the main list after fact-checking. The first pass will be rather general with fewer examples and references, but over time it will grow into a more comprehensive thread aiming to cover every detail and where each issue applies.

Biomes, Climate and Weather

Main Menu


There are serious issues with the main menu globe showing biomes of the World that also lets you choose where to build your zoos. The biggest issue right now (no matter which climate or biome classification method you use) appears to be the extent of the Tropical biome. Regions that should have been Temperate, Taiga and sometimes even Tundra are marked Tropical.

Please note that this is a video game and all biomes/climates of the world can not be featured due to game design/budget limitations. Therefore grouping several biomes into one is perfectly understandable. Instead I'll only be pointing out to problems within the system's own logic, things that are inconsistent with the rest. In this analysis I will be using both climate and biome classification systems as reference to point out to the issues, since the game's levels have elements of both vegetation and weather.

Before that let's define which climates are grouped under the larger umbrella biomes as defined by the game. I will be using the Köppen climate classification system since it is defined based on the types of local vegetation:

Tropical Biome: Tropical Rainforest/Equatorial (Af) and Tropical Monsoon (Am) climates.
Grassland Biome: Tropical Savannah (Aw/As), Hot Semi-Arid (BSh), Cold Semi-Arid (BSk), and Mediterranean (Csa, Csb, Csc) climates.
Temperate Biome: Oceanic (Cfb, Cfc, Cwb, Cwc), Humid Subtropical (Cfa, Cwa), Humid Continental (Dfa, Dfb, Dwa, Dwb, Dsa) climates.
Desert Biome: Hot Desert (BWh) and Cold Desert (BWk) climates.
Taiga Biome: Subpolar (Dfc, Dfd, Dwc, Dwd, Dsc, Dsd) and Dry Warm-Summer Humid Continental (Dsb) climates.
Tundra Biome: Tundra (ET) and Ice-Cap (EF) climates.

As for biomes, I will be referencing the most extensive and up to date classification (Olson et al. 2001); a system used by several organizations like WWF and Resolve. According to the game's method of grouping several biomes under larger umbrella biomes the categories would be as following:

Tropical Biome: Tropical & Subtropical Moist Broadleaf and Coniferous Forests; including Monsoon Forests.
Grassland Biome: Tropical & Subtropical Dry Forests, Mediterranean Forests, Woodlands and Scrub, Temperate Grasslands and Steppe, Flooded Grasslands & Savannas, Tropical & Subtropical Grasslands, Savannas and Shrublands; including Tree Savannas.
Temperate Biome: Temperate Broadleaf Forests; including Forest Steppe and Boreal Transition.
Desert Biome: Deserts & Xeric Shrublands; including Xeric Savanna/Steppe, Xeric Scrub and Xeric Woodlands.
Taiga Biome: Boreal Forests/Taiga and Temperate Conifer Forests; including Subalpine Forests.
Tundra Biome: Tundra, Alpine Tundra/Montane Grasslands & Shrublands, Rock and Ice.

Please also note that even very small regions (e.g. Sri Lanka) have been divided into different biomes in the game, as well as different islands on tiny island chains being marked differently, therefore non of the suggestions I've listed below contradict the level of detail that is already present in the game.

You can find below a list of locations that need to be reviewed:
  • A large chunk of East Asia, including most of China and all of Japan along with the majority of Taiwan should have been Temperate instead of Tropical.
  • With the exception of Northern and Northeastern Australia, coastal regions of Australia marked as Tropical should have been Temperate.
  • Majority of Tasmania should have been Temperate instead of Grassland.
  • Regions of New Zealand marked as Tropical should be Temperate.
  • No island off New Zealand, South Africa, South America or Antarctica should be Tropical or Grassland. Most are Tundra or Subpolar (Taiga) and some Temperate.
  • Southernmost tip of South America should be Tundra. The rest of Southern South America that is marked Tropical should be Temperate. Even the Magellanic subpolar forests ecoregion, as well as the no vegetation zones (Rock & Ice) of the Southern Andes are inaccurately marked Tropical.
  • The entire Northern Andes Mountain range has been marked as Tundra, but instead, in a similar fashion to the Himalayas, it should have been split into regions. Northern Andes should be marked as Subpolar (Taiga) in contrast to the Tundra of the Central Andes.
  • There should be no Tropical Biome in Southern South America, including Southern Brazil, should be Temperate instead, as it is subtropical like the Southern United States.
  • With the exception of coastal Pacific Northwest, Rocky and Sierra Nevada Mountain ranges, Taiga shouldn't be as widespread in the lower 48 (United States), which is now pretty abundant on PZ's map (Western United States). Regions outside these three locations should be Grassland and Desert.
  • Southern Florida should not be Temperate, instead Southwestern Florida should be Tropical Savannah (Grassland) and Southeastern Florida Equatorial (Tropical). (1) (2)
  • Northwestern Cuba should be Tropical (Central Cuba to remain as Grassland), Southeastern Bahamas and Turks & Caicos should be Grassland (only the last two islands before Hispaniola on PZ's map - in contrast to the detailed map shared here).
  • The Alps should be part Tundra, Taiga region of Northern Spain should be limited to the French-Spanish-Andorran border, Taiga region of the Caucasus and Eastern Anatolia should cover a much larger area with parts of the Caucasus being Tundra. Norwegian Tundra should be limited to the southern and northern high elevation regions.
  • Temperate broadleaf region of the Iberian Peninsula should be limited to the immediate northern coastline - the three lighter shades of green on the map marked 1, 2 and 3 (Taiga dark green - marked 4). At the moment both Taiga and Temperate are taking up a lot of space from Grasslands biome (the entire region marked red on this map).
  • In addition to the Po Valley, Temperate Northern Italy could extend slightly Southeast along its central mountain range.
  • Northern Greece, Black Sea Coast of Bulgaria and Northwestern Turkey should be Temperate (see map) instead of Taiga and Grassland. The Taiga region should be limited to the mountainous interior of Southern Bulgaria along the Greek border.
  • A small portion of the Southeastern Coast of Spain has a true desert climate (both deep and pale red), which would add a completely new biome to Europe in-game, would be interesting to see, something I know the developers also seek (from the journals). This would also be in-line with the Date Palm asset's Europe and Desert tags.
  • Majority of Asia Minor and Western Iran should be Temperate broadleaf. The entire area marked green on the map. 'Taiga' is marked grayish green; however it's incomplete according to the game's method of classifying coniferous regions. For the complete one see this map (dark green and blue).
  • There is a tear in the map where Algeria is - an area that is coniferous (Taiga).
  • You can't click/select Cyprus and a section of the Temperate Eastern Black Sea coast.
  • Europe/Asia divide over the Caucasus/Georgia is inaccurate.
  • The extent of the Grasslands Biome over Ukraine and Southwestern Russia is too much.
  • Northern India (just south of the Himalayas) should be Temperate (subtropical) and to connect with the extended Temperate region of East Asia as suggested earlier.
  • Terai-Duar Savanna and Grasslands ecoregion in Northern India is also missing - which is prime Indian Rhino habitat, as well as Tigers and Elephants.
  • Taiga in East Asia/Siberia should extend further South (part of the Dwc zone in Southeastern Russia/Northeastern China was left out).
  • The extent of Tundra in Eastern and Northern Siberia is too limited. On the contrary the extent of Tundra in Alaska is too much (first link only accurately shows polar tundra, several alpine tundra ecoregions are missing - for a more complete version you can click this link and select biome).
  • Northern tip of South America near Lake Maracaibo should be marked Desert as it has a true desert climate and biome.
  • The extent of the Desert region of Southern South America should be greater, extending further North.
  • There are several sections on the map that cannot be clicked, mostly offshore islands.

I've later found out which map was used as reference for the Biomes map used in the game. It is a rather outdated simplistic hand drawn map with quite some issues. Even that map doesn't have most of the major issues listed above, such as the Tropical/Temperate/Subpolar/Polar divide. This was caused by importing proper borders from said map but painting/filling certain sections inaccurately. Even this easy fix (keeping the same borders) would eliminate more than half the problems. Here is a much more detailed and accurate map for a better understanding of the Ecoregions and Biomes of the world.

Here are two more (1) (2) simplified biome maps (of the more detailed WWF map I just shared in the discussion above) to better understand the points regarding the inaccuracies specifically concerning Europe and the Caucasus mentioned earlier. Finally, here is a basic edited version I've made of one of the maps to compile the information in all the maps I've previously linked to roughly show how these would translate to the in-game map using the game's method of classifying biomes - dark green, medium dark green and indigo blue indicate the coniferous subpolar regions the game collectively defines as taiga; except the tundra sections in gray that were also indicated earlier. (3) (4)

If I was to suggest something entirely new, I would suggest adding a second subcategory (other than Savannah) to the Grasslands Biome to represent the cold Steppe climate. I see this as the only lacking category in the current system of grouped up climates. To give a stark example, having the frigid steppes of Russia and Canada (that can drop well below -40 F/C) having a Tropical Savannah Climate with temperatures staying over 12 degrees Celsius (54 degrees F) in-game and in contrast having Florida with regular snow and freezing temperatures is quite odd. Splitting Grasslands into two, or at least having different parts of the world with the same Biome experience different temperatures in-game would eliminate that problem.

Desert Biome also needs a similar treatment, but judging by how few cold desert animals we have in the game, it isn't a priority.

In-Game Mechanics and Gameplay
  • Overcast/Cloudy (dry) conditions should always decrease the effect of cold at night and heat during the day regardless of the climate/biome. Right now some biomes in-game have the opposite effect.
  • Using the same logic Clear conditions (dry) should always increase the effect of cold at night and heat during the day regardless of the climate/biome. Right now some biomes in-game have the opposite effect.
  • Both Tundra and Taiga should get a lot colder in snowy weather in respect to their current state. Right now winter in Taiga is almost the same as Temperate.
  • Tropical Biome should have the least temperature fluctuations with highs rarely exceeding 35 degrees Celsius and rarely dropping under 20 degrees Celsius even when its rainy.
  • Desert Biome should have much more temperature fluctuation with highs and lows, including the problem with super high temperatures during manually set rainy weather in sandbox.
  • It would be nice to have bodies of water freezing in subzero (C) conditions. Having the player to place at least one water source in shelter when playing in Tundra maps where it is constantly cold.
  • Having trees/foliage affect snow coverage (Animal Terrain Tab to match visuals) instead of temperature (in cold weather) would be more accurate. Only large and thick (enough to form a canopy) forests would have a considerable effect on temperature and frost during cold weather in contrast to trees (even few) blocking sun rays creating a cooler shaded area in times of heat - see the universal indoor/shelter suggestion below that would also help with this issue.
  • It would be interesting to have some variety in temperature/weather within the same biomes when selecting locations with different latitudes.
  • Extreme weather (different for each animal) should have a more stark effect on their welfare than moderate weather unsuitability (e.g. Tropical reptiles would die rather quickly under constant freezing/snow)
  • It would be better if temperatures occasionally dropped in the Temperate Biome other than the times it snows. Right now lows in the Temperate Biome is pretty much the same as the Tropical Biome.
  • When you select a biome and a continent, the foliage is only affected by the biome but if it was also filtered by the continent picked that would be a decent upgrade.
  • Ideally the Desert Biome shouldn't be entirely sand, and should have more vegetation since in reality desert biomes aren't just made of sand dunes unlike commonly thought.
  • Shelters/indoor spaces seem to react differently to different biomes. I've seen shelters in the Desert Biome increase the 30 degree ambient temperature at night to 32 degrees as if it was cold outside meanwhile shelters still had a cooling effect with an ambient temperature around 15 degrees in the Taiga Biome. Closed space temperature regulation should be universal for all maps and depend on the actual temperature and not the relative temperature for the biome.
Plants
  • Coconut trees are strictly equatorial/tropical. They can die out even in tropical regions that are susceptible to cold fronts. The desert belt of the world is way much colder and lacking in necessary precipitation and humidity, therefore the desert tag needs to be taken out from this asset's labels. On the other hand North America tag should be added. It is a predominantly coastal species, even depending on ocean currents for the dispersal of its fruit (thus seeds), therefore Aquatic tag should be added.
  • Scots Pine should also have the Asia tag, as it is native and very common in boreal and mountainous regions of the continent. See map for its natural distribution.
  • The Common Reed should also have the South/Central America tag, see map for its natural and invasive distribution.
  • Bulrush Reeds should also have South/Central America and Asia tags, see link for its distribution.
  • Dahurian Larch (Larix gmelinii) is native only to East Asia, not Europe; therefore the Europe tag should be removed.
  • Alpine Sea Holly doesn't only grow in subalpine conditions, they are also frequent in the alpine zone (Alpine Tundra), thus missing the Tundra tag.
  • Lady Ferns are native to much of the temperate Northern Hemisphere, and thus missing the Asia tag in-game.
  • Puya Plants should also have the Tundra tag and not just Taiga, as they mostly occur in the puna above the treeline just like the Polylepis Tree.
  • Labrador Tea refers to three species from the same genus which are collectively native to North America and Eurasia, which should be represented in its tag unless the one in the game specifically represents a single species and not the genus like most plants in the game.
  • Twinflowers should also have the Tundra tag, as they are very frequent in both Taiga and Tundra.
  • Alpine Currant is also native to Western Asia, thus should also have the Asia tag.
  • White Sage Bush is only native to the edges of deserts, chaparral forests and scrub of Southern California. This region is marked as Grassland and Desert on the game's map but the plant itself has the Desert and Taiga tags. I guess the only way this can be settled is after a revision is made to the game's biomes, particularly Mediterranean coniferous forests in this case, as they are marked as Grasslands on the game's map.
  • Alpine Phacelia should also have the Tundra tag, as they are also common in the Alpine Tundra above the treeline.
  • Campion Moss should also have the Asia tag as they are native to Eurasia, including Siberia.
  • Reindeer Moss (Caribou Moss) has a bipolar distribution; therefore, Europe, Asia and South America should be included.
  • Cowberry Bushes are native to North America, Europe and Asia, but Asia was left out in the game. The frequency of how Asia is left out each time a species of plant or animal has Eurasia in its distribution tells me this is a universal problem in the game.
  • There are two species of Dwarf Cornel, but the species that resembles the one in the game is native to Asia, North America and Europe. However, the tags are for the other species that is native only to Asia and North America.
  • I don't know if a particular North American species was chosen, but "Festive Spruces" are made of numerous species of spruce from North America and Eurasia, including but not limited to the Traditional Norway Spruce, Siberian Spruce, Serbian Spruce and Alberta White Spruce.
  • Giant Red Cedar is native to North America, not South/Central America.
  • Black Poplar Trees are native to temperate Europe, Asia and North Africa, but only has the Europe tag in-game. Blackthorn for instance (that has a similar range) was given all three tags properly despite having a more confined distribution in North Africa compared to more widespread Black Poplar.
  • Common Bracken has a cosmopolitan distribution. Therefore it's missing the South/Central America and Africa tags.
  • Although quite popular in the west, the Cherry Blossom Tree (Prunus serrulata) is only native to East Asia.
  • White Birch is most common in the boreal zone of Canada and Alaska, but its distribution also includes the temperate zone. In the game it's missing the Taiga tag.
  • Common Ash is also native to Western Asia, thus missing the Asia tag. In places like New Zealand and North America they are not native, but naturalized. Depending on how the stance on naturalized species is by the game's logic, North America tag can be kept or removed.
  • Unless the term Common Water Lily refers to a single species in the game (the European one - Nymphaea alba), it is missing the North America tag, since another water lily with the term common in its name that is native North America also exists (Nymphaea odorata). Otherwise, excluding North America is accurate. Even if the one in the game refers only to the European species, it is still missing the Africa tag, as it is also found in the temperate North Western Africa.
  • Fountain Bamboo is a strictly temperate bamboo species, endemic to central China (specifically Szechwan and Kansu), that is sensitive to summer heat. Therefore only the Temperate tag should remain, the Tropical tag should be removed. Keeping it would be like giving Giant Pandas the Tropical tag.
  • Hawthorn is also native to North Africa, thus missing the Africa tag in the game (make sure to toggle Geographic Range in detail).
  • Holly Trees have a worldwide Tropical, Subtropical and Temperate distribution, thus missing the appropriate Tropical tag, as well as Africa and Oceania tags.
  • Nettle has a distribution that is restricted by its need for moist soil, thus isn't abundant even in Southern Europe, let alone the Savannah of Africa with periodic droughts; therefore the Grasslands tag should be removed. Even a more drought resistant species, the Common Ivy wasn't given the Grasslands tag despite being more abundant in Southern Europe than Northern Europe; where its abundance is limited. However, could be given the Aquatic tag.
  • Oaks are a very diverse group of trees with a wide global distribution, but assuming the one in the game refers to the Common Oak, it is missing the Asia tag, as it is very characteristic of Asia Minor and the Caucasus.
  • Sycamore Maple is only native to Europe and Western Asia, not North Africa. Therefore the Africa tag should be removed. It is somewhat naturalized in the United States so there is no need for the North America tag to be removed, unless naturalized populations for all trees are going to be removed.
  • Wisteria are also native to the Eastern United States, thus should also have the North America tag, unless the one in the game is specifically an East Asian species.
  • Unless the term Goldenrod is meant specifically for the North American types, there are a few species that are also found in South America, Europe and Asia. Another issue with the asset is the 'R' shouldn't be capitalized.
  • Aloe vera (not to be confused with Aloe in general) is another example to the inconsistency of naturalized populations being included in the game or not. They have been naturalized in arid places like the Canary Islands and Murcia (mainland Spain). Along with the Date Palm and Salt Cedar Bush (that properly have Europe and Desert Tags), would go great with the Desert Biome recommendation I had made for the small section of coastal Southeastern Spain.
  • Salt Cedar Bush should also have the Grasslands tag, in addition to Desert. It is a widespread genus with certain species inhabiting Steppes and Mediterranean regions.
  • Corkwood Tree should also have the Grasslands tag. They require high precipitation (ignore the map - it's only for New South Wales), so the Desert tag could be removed, even though there are some relic populations in the Australian Outback.
  • King Protea predominantly occurs in the Mediterranean climate belt of Southern South Africa, therefore the Grasslands tag should be added. Although not as common, they also have populations in the drier, interior parts of Southern South Africa, therefore Desert tag is accurate.
  • The Sagebrush Bush is predominantly a steppe species, thus missing the appropriate Grasslands tag. A favorite of the Pronghorn.
  • Ancestral Banana Trees are native only to tropical Indomalaya and Australia; therefore should have the Oceania tag before Africa or South America. Nonetheless, they have been naturalized in the tropics elsewhere, so those tags are also accurate. However, North America tag has been left out, even though Banana Trees are very common in the Caribbean, Mexico and South Florida. Wild banana trees have been reported even in states north of Florida.
  • Yellow Ipê Trees are also native to savannahs, therefore should additionally have the Grasslands tag. (1) (2) (3)
  • Custard Apple Trees are also native to Mexico and certain Caribbean islands, therefore should additionally have the North America tag.
  • The Elephant Ear Plant is another case of the native/naturalized distribution tagging dilemma. They are native only to Asia, but naturalized in Africa, Australia, South/Central and North America. However the tags in-game do not represent either choice. Either South/Central America tag should be removed or the others added. Naturalization in the New World wouldn't have been possible if the plant was first naturalized in Africa.
  • Liana Vines are also common in the Caribbean and tropical regions of Mexico, thus missing the North America tag. Additionally, there are temperate species of Liana in temperate rainforests; however the ones in the game are representative of tropical species, so the exclusion of other biome tags is accurate.
  • Lobster Claws are also native to Mexico and the West Indies, therefore missing the North America tag.
  • Scaevola is a genus with its center of diversity being Australia and Polynesia, thus missing the appropriate Oceania tag. Many species are also coastal, growing in the littoral zone; therefore the Aquatic tag should also be considered. They are also native to East Africa and Madagascar, thus missing the Africa tag.
  • Tamarind Tree is a prime example of proper tagging for including naturalized populations. If this model is to be followed, the other assets should be reviewed. Tamarind is also common in savannahs (actually more common than in rainforests), thus Grasslands tag should be added.
  • Wimba Tree is also native to Southern Florida and the Caribbean, thus missing the North America tag.

Animals

In-Game


Animal Behavior, Locomotion and Appearance

  • Cheetahs shouldn't be able to roar, that's a characteristics of big cats in the genus Panthera (except the snow leopard, which was only recently included in the genus). These should be taken out from the Cheetah sound set.
  • I've recently noticed something wrong with the juvenile Grizzly Bear rig. They have an exceptionally sloping mid-body like a slinky dog when walking. Happens only when walking; they are fine when standing, resting or sprinting. Hadn't noticed that during the beta. Seems to me it got broken rather recently.
  • Both Giant Tortoises should be able to swim. I was actually going to say "Aldabra Giant Tortoises should also be able to swim" since Galapagos Tortoises in the beta were already able to swim with extremely well made animations and speed clearly showing they based it off of an actual swimming giant tortoise (see link). Right now neither can swim.
  • Adult Gharials shouldn't be able to high-walk, instead slide on their bellies. While this should be the only means of terrestrial locomotion for adult Gharials, adding a belly slide animation for all crocodilians (in addition to high-walk) would also help other crocodilians look more natural when moving around, especially for short distances and turning in place.
  • Crocodilians should be more lethargic. When they pick a spot to idle, i.e. basking/resting on land or floating in water (and perhaps resting on the bottom in the future) they should remain in that state for longer periods of time, instead of constantly changing position. It is easily noticeable in simulation speed x5 where large mammals like elephants are way slower and lethargic compared to crocodiles. They can be quite fast when they want to, so the current animations shouldn't actually be slowed down, but the addition of slower animations like a belly slide as suggested above, as well as more idling both on land and in water, can make them look more natural.
  • Saltwater Crocodile high-walk seems a little awkward with the backside raised too much, unlike the Gharial which is closer to the ground. Saltie high-walk somewhat resembles the pooping animation in its current state.
  • Crocodilians spend too much time roaming/walking on land. They should spend more time in water, and use land mostly to bask and in the case of the game, use enrichment items.
  • The original Saltwater Crocodile model proportions (male) are pretty much accurate, but the resized (female) proportions are quite off. The tail is way too short, the body is stretched on its width (or shrunk on the other axis). The female model (skull) itself is actually quite gracile as it should be, but the sideways stretch causes the skull and body looking as wide and robust as the male. When combined with the cut in half tail that messes up body proportions, the poor females look like a special breed with dwarfism that was specifically bred like some cats, dogs and horses.
  • Sexual dimorphism in Gharials shouldn't be as pronounced (in size) as salties. Female gharials are actually some of the biggest among crocodilians.
  • Both Giant Tortoises in the game are undersized (in-game as well as Zoopedia - but average weight figures are accurate). Sexual dimorphism (in size) is also inaccurate in both species. Males of both species should be significantly larger. On average Galapagos Giant Tortoises are 120-150 cm (male) and ~100 cm (female), Aldabra Giant Tortoises are 122 cm (male) and 91 cm (female) in length, with the largest Galapagos and Aldabra males reaching 187 cm and 140 cm respectively. Right now 100% size gene males are having difficulty reaching average sizes in both species. (5) (6) (7)
  • Young of both Giant Tortoises should be of similar size, instead of Galapagos being smaller and Aldabra larger. Juvenile Galapagos Tortoises should also be sped up like how it was recently done with Aldabras. They shouldn't have the same animation speed of adults - this would be more realistic as well as helping with the baby tortoises starving/getting dehydrated issue.
  • When determining size ranges for animals, different data sets have been used. For some, absolute maximum sizes on record were used (e.g. Hippopotamus, Big Cats, male Indian Elephant - which is exact to the cm of the infamous Raja Gaj at 343 cm), meanwhile for others average maximum/minimum sizes were used (e.g. Crocodilians, African Elephant, Indian Rhinoceros, Komodo Dragon, African Buffalo). This alone is responsible for a lot of the size related inconsistencies/discrepancies in the game. I would highly advise sticking to one or there will always be size related issues, no matter how many changes are made. In the case of the Reticulated Giraffe, record sizes for the Masai Giraffe are used, which are the largest giraffe subspecies.
  • Some animals in-game do not represent the (accurate) average sizes mentioned in Zoopedia (and thus size range), making them look undersized or oversized. The same discrepancy is also reflected in individual animal stats in the Genetics > Physical Stats tab. (e.g. Komodo Dragons, Tigers)
  • Some animals have inaccurate sexual dimorphism (in size) resulting in too small or large females in comparison to males (e.g. Bengal Tiger, Giant Tortoises, African Buffalo - oversized females v Indian Elephant, Indian Rhino, Gharial - undersized females). Some of this might be linked to the translation error (from Zoopedia to in-game models/stats) mentioned earlier.
  • If I was to recommend anything about reptilian growth, I would suggest removing the hard caps on maximum length and balancing it with 100% size and longevity gene specimens (and then perhaps decide on the hard cap based on this test), because right now anything with size genes over 60% grow to the exact same size (to the cm), the only difference being how early they reach said size. Mammalian growth seems to be working fine since they stop growing at some point.
  • Although tapirs are solitary and shy animals in the wild, they are more sociable in captivity and can be exhibited in close proximation to zoo visitors. They also adapt well to new auditory stimuli and thus don't get affected by sounds that cause stress to some other zoo animals. I would at least suggest a neutral stance instead of shy.
  • Chinese Pangolins are good climbers despite being classified as ground pangolins. Therefore should have climbing animations.
  • Orangutan climbing and knuckle walk animations could tweaked a little bit to make them look less like gorillas on the ground and more adept at climbing different assets, such as ropes and small animal frames.
Interspecific Relationships
  • Interspecific predator interactions are way too predatory between apex predators, instead of the interspecific stand-off type interaction that is already present in the game. This causes strange things to happen between apex predators (e.g. a single tiger placed in a habitat with a dozen lions killing each and every one of them with predation is happening notifications).
  • Bears are way too predatory against large herbivores and carnivores.
  • Hyenas should be more predatory towards smaller predators like African Wild Dogs instead of the stand-off animations. Even Leopards usually don't mess with Hyenas. The issue here is the exact opposite of the lack of interspecific standoffs between apex predators.

Habitat Requirements
  • Japanese Macaques, an animal that has subtropical and temperate forests as its primary biome, shouldn't be the most cold resilient animals in the game when we have actual Tundra and Alpine Tundra species like Brown Bears, Wolves and Snow Leopards.
  • An issue where sometimes animals that also have Temperate biome under suitable biomes being less resilient to cold than animals that only have Tropical (e.g. Chinese Pangolin v Apes, Gharial v Saltwater Crocodile)
  • Indian Rhinoceros, Indian Elephant and Bengal Tiger should all have better toleration for lower temperatures in a similar fashion to the Indian Peafowl, as all four of these species have their ranges extend into the Temperate zone. In the case of the Greater Flamingo, it should be even lower (see link).
  • African Buffalo and African Elephant should both have better tolerance to cooler temperatures in comparison to tropical reptiles.
  • Baird's Tapir's habitat extends into subtropical/temperate highlands up to 3600 meters as well as the subtropical zone with frequent cold fronts. Recommended minimum temperature even for calves is 10 degrees Celsius according to the AZA. Right now they are more susceptible to cold compared to some strictly equatorial animals.
  • Great Apes shouldn't have their temperature tolerance range extend into the 40's. Even for Western Chimpanzees that have somewhat adapted to life in the open plains, where temperatures regularly rise over 40 degrees Celsius, 38 degrees is the point at which heat becomes a problem. For strictly rainforest dwelling species like Bonobos and Gorillas it is even lower, anything over 35 degrees would start becoming stressful. Again, this problem ties back to the game's Tropical Biome temperature range discussed earlier.
  • Nile Monitors should have better tolerance to cool temperatures compared to most other Tropical reptiles in the game, as their range extends well into the subtropics, historically even northward into the Eastern Mediterranean.
  • It is dangerous to feed reptiles frozen food that isn't thawed. Therefore reptiles in-game shouldn't have Frozen Blood Pumpkin or Frozen Block of Fruit as enrichment items.
  • Aldabra Giant Tortoises should have both Tropical and Grasslands for suitable biomes instead of just Tropical as the islands they are from (current and historic alike) have both Tropical (wet) and Tropical Savannah climates. Ignore Desert/Dune listed as a habitat as that is for coastal dunes and beaches not deserts.
  • Galapagos Giant Tortoises should have Tropical, Grassland and Desert for suitable biomes since the Galapagos Islands have all three climates, unless the ones in the game right now do not represent the Galapagos Giant Tortoise Complex as a whole, meaning we would specifically get desert species/subspecies in the future with saddleback shell forms. See link for detailed habitat information on all 14 species/subspecies - make sure to click habitat and ecology in detail. Ignore the last two species (Yellow-footed and chaco tortoises) in the search query.
  • In general, cold climate/tundra/taiga animals (e.g. Brown Bears, Wolves, Bison, Bactrian Camel, Snow Leopard, Siberian Tiger) should have their suitable temperature ranges extend well into the negative double digits and species that are from temperate/continental climates (e.g. Pronghorn, Pandas) having moderate subzero temperatures within their suitable temperature range. Right now the only animal to represent this suggestion is the Japanese Macaque. The rest of the animals on the roster have more limiting ranges.
  • A lot of the suitable temperature range issues listed above result from some animals having temperature limits based on the absolute extremes they can cope with/survive in, meanwhile for others, temperatures they'd be comfortable in are used. My choice would be the latter since the game already accounts for the difference by slowly decreasing the temperature suitability rating as temperatures increase or decrease in a habitat.
  • Since we specifically have the Western subspecies of the Common Chimpanzee, they should also (additionally) have the Savannah (Grassland) Biome under suitable biomes. This would also allow for a nice variety considering the second Pan species in the game (Bonobo) strictly resides in rainforests.
  • In a similar fashion to the Western Chimpanzees as described above, Ring-Tailed Lemurs should also have Grasslands Biome under suitable biomes in addition to Tropical. In contrast to the Red Ruffed Lemurs that are strictly Tropical (Rainforest), primary habitat of Ring Tailed Lemurs is xeric scrubland, scrub and dry forests; and area known for its unique and endemic baobab species. Although rare, they also inhabit humid forests, therefore the Tropical biome tag should stay. Ring-Tailed Lemurs also have better tolerance to cold and heat compared to its Red Ruffed relatives, which should be reflected in the game.
  • Snow Leopards should also have Tundra Biome in addition to Taiga under suitable biomes, as alpine tundra is one of their primary habitats. Most of the year they are above the treeline (tundra), but during harsh winter conditions they do come down to the subalpine (taiga) zone.
  • Gharials should have Grassland and Desert Biomes under suitable biomes since their geographic distribution includes these ecoregions. See detailed map of terrestrial ecoregions to compare any of my suggested changes to animal biomes by comparing their distribution and the ecoregions/biomes map linked.
  • Animals like African Wild Dogs, Ostriches and Cheetahs should also have Desert Biome under suitable biomes and better tolerance to desert temperatures and terrain types, since their geographic distribution includes these ecoregions.
  • Gemsbok inhabit savannahs as well as deserts. Therefore Grasslands Biome should be added to their suitable biomes as a secondary biome. They should also be able cope with higher temperatures in the game. Right now other animals that have Desert Biome in their suitable biomes, even ones with a different primary biome (like the African Bush Elephant - Grasslands) have higher tolerance to high temperatures than the Gemsbok.
  • The Arctic is not a continent. Instead it is a region consisting of the Arctic Ocean and the Northernmost Eurasia and North America. Giving the Arctic tag to animals instead of their respective continents results in them not being happy with North American and Eurasian Tundra foliage.
  • Polar Bears range from the Arctic Ocean all the way south into the boreal zone (technically even into the continental zone). Therefore Taiga (boreal forests) should be included in their suitable biomes. They are a very nomadic species, utilizing different terrain/regions during different times of the year. Which is also why they should be more tolerant of warmer temperatures. In parts of their range, summers average at least 17.8 degrees Celsius and reach more than 26 degrees. Although I wouldn't suggest something as high as this, since we are talking about an ideal range, but having something between 15 to 20 degrees for the upper limit instead of 10 would be better suiting.
  • Unlike other bears that often browse or forage for food, Polar Bears are hypercarnivorous and require food enrichment items that reflect this diet. Therefore they shouldn't share enrichment items like herb scent markers, roller, tree or bamboo feeders with Brown/Black Bears and Giant Pandas. Instead they should share enrichment items like blood scent markers and piñata enrichment with other carnivores. This doesn't only suit their diet better, but also eliminates situations where a huge carcass drops out of tiny holes from a small bamboo feeder. I believe this was a simple copy paste error when using the same blueprint as other bears.
  • African Elephants used to accurately have Tropical Biome in addition to Grasslands and Desert, but this was recently removed for some reason. It's not only the Forest Elephant that lives in rainforests, African Bush Elephants also live in tropical humid forests/rainforests in parts of its range.
  • Giant Pandas and Chinese Pangolins should have a small climbing space need. In the case of the Pangolins, climbing animations as well.
  • Both species of Elephant should be able to use the Food Cage and Suspended High Grazer Feeder.
  • Smaller high grazer feeders and enrichment items for small browsers like the Okapi.
Boundary Grades
  • There are some issues with the choice of minimum boundary grades assigned to animals. For instance smaller bears like Pandas and Formosan Black Bear (much smaller than lions and tigers in the game) have grade 4 boundary meanwhile Bison and Buffalo have a minimum of 3 which doesn't make much sense. Even the Himalayan Brown should do well with grade 3 fencing. Another example would be very large animals like Saltwater Crocodiles having same fencing requirements as small animals like Pangolins and Red Pandas. This might be due to how neat glass barriers look with underwater viewing areas. Adding reinforced glass research to upgrade regular glass can help solve this dilemma and let larger animals have proper boundary grade limitations.
  • Minimum boundary grade listed for Elephants is 2, which they easily break from. Guessing this was a typo. Later noticed this applies to other animals as well. The translation problem mentioned about sizes earlier might also be happening here with fence grades and is more widespread than I thought. e.g. Giant Pandas/Bears being contained with level 3 boundaries when Zoopedia states otherwise.
Space Requirements

I am planning to make a separate post for the minimum traversable space requirements for animals since there is no scientifically approved definite way of calculating space for captive animals, but professionally advised (subjective) benchmarks that change over time, which makes said topic irrelevant to this thread, but I do want to point out one extreme example.

Varanids in this game require way too much space, when in real life zoos they are usually kept in large indoor exhibits. In a similar fashion to how crocodilians in the game don't require as much space as similar sized mammals, Varanids should also require less space. Having Nile Monitors requiring more space than Gemsbok, Bongos, Nyala or Lemurs and Komodo Dragons requiring more space than Pygmy Hippos, Buffalo, Bison or Himalayan Brown Bears is quite bizarre. Another comparison would be that Green Iguanas are kept in 16 meter square exhibits in the game while the not so much larger Nile Monitors require almost 400 square meters.

Requiring a minimum of 100 (+8-10 for each additional adult) and 240 (+15-20) meter square space (land) should be sufficient for Nile Monitors and Komodo Dragons respectively and would still make their habitats much larger than what they are kept in real life zoos. Same goes for swimming space. Nile Monitors should not require a bigger pool than Tapirs or Rhinos. A 20 (+3-4 for each additional adult) meter square swimming area (the size of a decent sized bathroom) would still be a world record in comparison to real life zoos. Komodo Dragons should also require a similar sized swimming space when they don't require any at the moment.

Giant Tortoises also could do with a slightly smaller space (180-200 square meters), which would also help with the offspring starving/getting dehydrated issue that is caused by the larger habitats people are trying to build for them. At the moment the minimum space requirement for Tortoises is more than Red Pandas, Lemurs or Pangolins. I do enjoy keeping animals in much larger habitats than they require but comparative discrepancies between species should be looked at. These changes would also serve as benchmark for future "space filler" habitat species (which could also do with indoor exhibits irl) that would be added to the game in future DLC's.

Zoopedia
  • The term Timber Wolf is a bit outdated, unless you are planning to add Arctic Wolves in future DLC's. Even then the term Gray Wolf would be more appropriate, unless a subspecies is specified. Now that we have the Arctic Wolf, the scientific name of the Timber Wolf needs to be revised. I would suggest Canis lupus occidentalis as it is the only extant subspecies that still has a modern synonym with the term timber in it. That way you wouldn't have to change the common name in the game. Mind you, I'm excluding Canis lycaon or Canis lupus lycaon since its taxonomy is a hot mess at the moment and could potentially belong to a separate species.
  • African Bush Elephant and Forest Elephant are two separate species. I think this should be represented in the name.
  • There are inconsistencies between the online version of Zoopedia and the one we have in the game.
  • Inconsistency in italicising species names (which should always be in italics as is done in the Zoopedia headings) - On signs, and in the Zoopedia text.
  • Gharials are not the only crocodilians with sexual dimorphism, in fact Saltwater Crocodiles have the most pronounced sexual dimorphism in modern crocodilians (which is properly explained in the Saltwater Crocodile profile but not in the Gharial profile. Gharials are unique in the sense that they are the only extant crocodilian with a unique male body part, the ghara, that makes their sexual dimorphism visually easy to spot.
  • Male Saltwater Crocodile weight in General Information and Species Data pages do not match. At the length described in the Species Data page the weight would be around 600 kg for the specified length. Female size on the other hand is accurate and consistent with the General Information page.
  • Natural Habitat tab of the Greater Flamingo profile displays distribution map for multiple species instead of just Greater. Text right of the map is actually accurate. This was somewhat fixed in the latest patch, removing the Americas from the map, but not entirely. See link for the accurate distribution map.
  • Migratory species such as Flamingos should have summer (nesting) and wintering grounds specified on the map as this would create a confusion with biomes/climate, especially with future DLC's where we have more birds. A bird that spends the winter in the Tropics might be nesting in Scandinavia.
  • Bactrian Camel natural distribution area is inaccurate. It should be confined to in and around Mongolia. Text right of the map is accurate. The map on the other hand shows where domesticated Bactrian Camels have been kept throughout history, not the free ranging population.
  • Distribution map for the Indian Elephant is that of (almost) the entire species (Asiatic Elephant) instead of being specifically Indian. As well as unnatural manmade borders (e.g. India) for certain parts of their range. Oddly some regions within the actual Indian Elephant distribution wasn't included (e.g. mainland Malaysia). I later did find the map used as reference for Zoopedia; it is a map of funded support projects for the Asian Elephant, rather than a distribution map, which is why it lacks Malaysia entirely (both mainland and Borneo). Even with my suggestions to fix the distribution map for the Indian Elephant, the new fixed version would be representative of the historic range, not the current one. For the current range in red see link (note that islands of Sri Lanka, Sumatra and Borneo should be excluded). As with other animals, text next to the map describing its distribution is accurate (properly excludes Sri Lanka and Indonesia).
  • West African Lion distribution map shows the range of the Eastern and Southern clade instead of the Western clade.
  • The map for the African Buffalo is specifically showing the range of the Cape Buffalo (S. c. caffer), excluding other subspecies. The name for the animal should be revised.
  • Western Lowland Gorilla distribution map also includes the Cross River Gorilla.
  • The population in the wild figure displayed for the Bornean Orangutan is for all orangutans, not just Bornean.
  • Several species (especially exhibit species) have unnatural manmade borders (country/state) for their distribution (e.g. both Scorpions).
  • Yellow Anacondas are not the second largest snakes in the World, but second largest in South America.
  • The term "Moon Bear" applies to all subspecies of the Asiatic Black Bear, not just Formosan.
  • Hippos kill around 300 people a year, not 3000.
  • The term false cobra applies to all brown snakes (genus Pseudonaja), not specifically to Eastern Brown Snake.
  • The animal referred to in Taiwanese folklore is a Clouded Leopard, not a Leopard.
  • Horns sold as Unicorn horns in Medieval England could only be Oryx horns, not Gemsbok since that part of the world was not discovered yet.
  • Qinling Pandas are a separate subspecies, not a subpopulation or population.
  • The radula is found in every class of mollusc except bivalves, not just the Giant Tiger Land Snail. More specifically, most gastropods have them.
  • Its frogs in general and not specifically the Goliath Frog that have been around for over 200 million years.
  • Komodo Dragons are venomous, but this was not mentioned in the fun facts. Instead the outdated theory of "their bite being dangerous only bc of the bacteria in their saliva" is being mentioned. Another issue with the fourth fun fact is, the pronoun "it" has been used to describe a Komodo Dragon's bite without actually defining it. Therefore the last sentence doesn't properly stress out the fact that a Komodo Dragon's bite force is weak, not the animal itself as a whole or the bacteria in its saliva.
  • Orangutans also use tools with their mouths, not just. When not specified, it might make the reader think they can only use their mouths for tool use.
  • Giraffes and Okapis are the only extant/living members of the giraffe family, the term extant was missing from the Okapi fun fact.
  • The plural form hippopotami is usually used in scholarly text, so the use of hippopotamuses or hippos wouldn't be wrong in the trivial/fun facts section. Feels like it was overused.
  • The false thumb in Red Pandas is mainly for arboreal locomotion, which should be mentioned in the fun fact mentioning this adaptation.
  • The fun fact mentioning "Saltwater Crocodile immunity to the toxins of the introduced cane toad but not the other species in Australia" should specifically refer to Australia's freshwater crocodile (single species), not all other crocodiles living in freshwater around the globe.
  • There isn't more than one tiger species in the world, therefore the fun fact stating Siberian Tigers having the greatest hunting range as a species of tiger should be replaced with the term population, not even subspecies, since Siberian Tigers are no longer considered a separate subspecies. They are a population of the mainland tiger. This also requires the subspecies name 'altaica' to be changed to 'tigris' in the Zoopedia. The same issue exists in the second fun fact.
  • Fun fact stating Siberian Tigers are the only tigers that live in snowy conditions should be replaced with "the only living tiger population with regular snowy conditions" since the recently extinct Caspian Tiger also lived in equally cold climates, and the currently not entirely extinct South China Tiger (EW) is also a temperate population of the mainland tiger that does experience snowfall, if not as regularly as the Siberian Tiger.
  • Fun fact talking about white Siberian Tigers should also mention other tiger populations, such as the Bengal Tiger having white color variation. Additionally, in the case of the white Bengal Tigers, they can even be found in the wild from time to time.
  • It is true that Thomson's Gazelles can go long periods without drinking but rely more on water than some other species like Grant's Gazelle or Springbok, which makes said fun fact a little misleading.
  • The word animal in the fun fact mentioning Polar Bears coming in second after Elephant Seals in sexual dimorphism should be replaced with mammal.
  • Fun fact mentioning Arctic Wolf size and stockiness has two errors. The word species should be replaced with subspecies and should read "larger and stockier than most other" as they aren't the largest subspecies, but amongst the largest.
  • Text next to the map showing where Common Ostriches are found states they are found in all of Africa except deserts and rainforests. This should be replaced with "except rainforests and most of the Sahara desert" since they are also found in fully arid regions/true deserts, just not most of the vast and uninhabitable Sahara. The map itself actually accurately includes true deserts in its distribution. The term Sub-Saharan Africa could also be used instead of Africa since their current range is limited to Sub-Saharan Africa, despite being found in North Africa and the Middle East in the past.
  • Polar Bears do not occur in Iceland, they do sometimes swim out to Iceland during winter months when the ice sheets extend further south, but they are killed each time they do reach the island for "security reasons". The map accurately excludes Iceland, yet it is mentioned in text.
  • Another thing that should be noted about the Polar Bear distribution in regards to the map is their range in Eastern Siberia extends further south along the Chukotka/Chukchi Peninsula, known as the Chukchi Sea subpopulation. This part of their range is missing on the Zoopedia map. Sometimes vagrant bears are spotted as far south as Kamchatka and Kuril Islands in the Sea of Okhotsk. Even though the Sea of Okhotsk is within the total Arctic Ice extent figures, this region is considered to be outside their range due to limited food sources and should be left out when revising the range map, in a similar fashion to how Iceland should be removed from the text.
  • Since a subspecies isn't defined for the Reindeer, its distribution map should include North America. On the other hand, text next to the range map is accurate.
 
Last edited:
Nice thread. Some of the things are bit on the "to much into detail" side imo.
But nice effort of listing the "issues" the game has.

Are these reported in the Issue Tracker as well?
It would be nice to have links to the reports on the Issue tracker as well, so we can confirm it when we have similar "issues".
 
That's one impressive post.. And really awesome with info.

In game development playability is always > details such as these
'BIg' like for comments like these.

I hope in the near future such an update will happen, just focusing on adjusting such info.
And a warning to check your habitats, to see if your animals are still happy with their situation, after such an update.
 
Nice thread. Some of the things are bit on the "to much into detail" side imo.
But nice effort of listing the "issues" the game has.

Are these reported in the Issue Tracker as well?
It would be nice to have links to the reports on the Issue tracker as well, so we can confirm it when we have similar "issues".
I haven't reported them in the Issue Tracker since I thought it'd be all over the place. Figured this would be the best way to keep them all in one place.

As for the details, I tried to keep the level of detail to already what is in the game without introducing anything new. My aim was to keep the same level of detail but with better accuracy.
 
Nice write-up. Much of it I agree with (although some is minor and I'm not massively fussed about) - other times its pretty frustrating (e.g., the enclosure sizes for lizards and turtles and the temperature range in tropical biomes)... In addition, I'd like to add the weird inconsistency in italicising species names (which should always be in italics as is done in the Zoopedia headings) - On signs, and in the Zoopedia text they're written non-italicised.
 
Nice write-up. Much of it I agree with (although some is minor and I'm not massively fussed about) - other times its pretty frustrating (e.g., the enclosure sizes for lizards and turtles and the temperature range in tropical biomes)... In addition, I'd like to add the weird inconsistency in italicising species names (which should always be in italics as is done in the Zoopedia headings) - On signs, and in the Zoopedia text they're written non-italicised.
That's a good point, I'll add it to the list.
 
This is an amazing thread.. Idk how I've missed this! Read about it in another thread I just responded to.

I would love to contribute, but the original post already seems quite comprehensive. I'll need the time to read it in detail and then see if I can find if anything is missing.

It gives me hope to see people take the time to create constructive threads like this.
 
This is an amazing thread.. Idk how I've missed this! Read about it in another thread I just responded to.

I would love to contribute, but the original post already seems quite comprehensive. I'll need the time to read it in detail and then see if I can find if anything is missing.

It gives me hope to see people take the time to create constructive threads like this.
I'm pretty sure there's still quite more to add, any contribution is very much appreciated!
 
Are you planning to add the size requirement discrepancies, especially for other large mammals in comparison to polar bears?
No, I am not. As I've said in the original post, I will not delve into habitat space requirements in this post. I might however make a separate thread for space requirements.
 
Last edited:
Wow, I am thoroughly impressed by this extensive write-up of errors in regards to the animals' real-life counterparts. Very informative, very well written. I hope Frontier will in some way, shape or form use these suggestions to improve the accuracy of in-game animal sizes, habitats, biomes, and all the other stuff.
 
Wow, I am thoroughly impressed by this extensive write-up of errors in regards to the animals' real-life counterparts. Very informative, very well written. I hope Frontier will in some way, shape or form use these suggestions to improve the accuracy of in-game animal sizes, habitats, biomes, and all the other stuff.
Thanks! Feel free to contribute, it's far from being complete. I would very much like it to grow with user contribution.
 
Great Thread!

One thing I noticed:

Tapirs are not shy and are easy to keep in groups. While they live alone in the wild, they are extremly sociable in captivity, with other tapirs as well as with humans. I was once allowed to meet a group (1 male, 4 females) and they came running up to the gate as soon as they heard it was being opened. Once they get used to humans, they will cuddle with strangers (to the point of rolling over to get their bellies scratched) and many zoos offer the opportunity to meet their tapirs for birthday parties and other events.
 
🤯🤯🤯
Holy moly, this is some next level feedback. Frontier is lucky to have someone give them feedback of this level free of charge!

Some of the things you mention don't really bother me, but it's good that someone took the time to point out mistakes and inaccuracies. Just for the sake of delivering something accurate. It adds to the scientific relevance for this game.

I have not much understanding of how games like this are coded, but I feel like a ton of these things can easily be fixed.
 
I'm glad this thread exists, I was thinking about doing one just like it.

I'd love to know where Frontier got the information for their Zoopedia. Even Wikipedia is more accurate, and that seems like the most obvious place to start for this kind of thing. Some of the stuff they've included sounds like they just talked to "Bill in the office, who knows a lot about animals and goes to the zoo sometimes" instead of doing actual research.

I'd also like to add that the gemsbok should be able to cope with the Grassland biome. This isn't so much because of how they are in the wild, but how they are often displayed in zoos (alongside other grassland animals, often in mixed-species exhibits). This is largely because it is extremely difficult to replicate actual desert conditions in a zoo (my local has the only addax in New Zealand, and they live on a lawn quite happily, for example).

There's also the issue of the polar bear having the "Arctic" continent, with no applicable plants. You're not talking about the space requirement, so that's fine, but it needs to be said again that polar bears do not only live on the empty ice-caps and frequently venture into what the game considers "taiga forests" and also the open tundra, where there is plenty of plant life. I imagine this applies to other animals, too, but the polar bear sticks out the most to me.

Finally, the "ideal temperature range" is a silly thing to have anyway. Anyone who's done any research into zoo animals will know that this temperature range extends significantly when it comes to zoos. A lion won't keel over and die because it gets a couple of days of snow, for example. Polar animals, too, can thrive in temperate climates (though, as I learned, not tropical, which is why Singapore Zoo won't be getting anymore polar bears).
 
Great Thread!

One thing I noticed:

Tapirs are not shy and are easy to keep in groups. While they live alone in the wild, they are extremly sociable in captivity, with other tapirs as well as with humans. I was once allowed to meet a group (1 male, 4 females) and they came running up to the gate as soon as they heard it was being opened. Once they get used to humans, they will cuddle with strangers (to the point of rolling over to get their bellies scratched) and many zoos offer the opportunity to meet their tapirs for birthday parties and other events.
Thanks for pointing it out! Tapirs indeed are not shy in captivity and they can be kept in close proximity to visitor viewing areas. They also well adapt to new auditory stimuli and thus don't get affected by sounds that cause stress to some other zoo animals. Keeping them in larger groups, however, depends on the individual personalities of the animals. Some are not tolerant of conspecifics, therefore I am not certain it would be wise to increase the population limit in the game. This situation can be compared to how other solitary animals, like tigers (again depending on personality) can be kept in small groups in zoos. I am actually curious what the guidelines are in keeping mixed-sex as well as bachelor groups.
 
🤯🤯🤯
Holy moly, this is some next level feedback. Frontier is lucky to have someone give them feedback of this level free of charge!

Some of the things you mention don't really bother me, but it's good that someone took the time to point out mistakes and inaccuracies. Just for the sake of delivering something accurate. It adds to the scientific relevance for this game.

I have not much understanding of how games like this are coded, but I feel like a ton of these things can easily be fixed.
Thanks! I try my best to help the game develop into what it deserves as the ultimate zoo game we have been anticipating for years, and all the hard work so many people have put in. It would be rather unfortunate to see the game being criticized in the long run for such easy to fix errors.
 
I'm glad this thread exists, I was thinking about doing one just like it.

I'd love to know where Frontier got the information for their Zoopedia. Even Wikipedia is more accurate, and that seems like the most obvious place to start for this kind of thing. Some of the stuff they've included sounds like they just talked to "Bill in the office, who knows a lot about animals and goes to the zoo sometimes" instead of doing actual research.

I'd also like to add that the gemsbok should be able to cope with the Grassland biome. This isn't so much because of how they are in the wild, but how they are often displayed in zoos (alongside other grassland animals, often in mixed-species exhibits). This is largely because it is extremely difficult to replicate actual desert conditions in a zoo (my local has the only addax in New Zealand, and they live on a lawn quite happily, for example).

There's also the issue of the polar bear having the "Arctic" continent, with no applicable plants. You're not talking about the space requirement, so that's fine, but it needs to be said again that polar bears do not only live on the empty ice-caps and frequently venture into what the game considers "taiga forests" and also the open tundra, where there is plenty of plant life. I imagine this applies to other animals, too, but the polar bear sticks out the most to me.

Finally, the "ideal temperature range" is a silly thing to have anyway. Anyone who's done any research into zoo animals will know that this temperature range extends significantly when it comes to zoos. A lion won't keel over and die because it gets a couple of days of snow, for example. Polar animals, too, can thrive in temperate climates (though, as I learned, not tropical, which is why Singapore Zoo won't be getting anymore polar bears).
Some really good points! You are right about how various animals can be kept outside their natural terrain types due to replication issues and maintenance. Actually in the case of the gemsbok, they also inhabit savannahs in the wild, so they should definitely add grasslands to their suitable biomes no matter how they look at it. I will definitely be updating the main list with that information in mind, thanks for pointing out to something I had missed earlier.

It is true that polar bears inhabit several different biomes and often seasonally move between these regions, which is something some modern zoos are now trying to replicate. I am not sure if Frontier would like to add Taiga to their suitable biomes since they probably wouldn't want people designing taiga-only habitats for them. In reality, however, their range actually extends far south (even) into the continental zone. The removal of the "Arctic continent" (something that doesn't exist) from filters and replacing them with North American and Eurasian tundra will let us include plants in polar bear habitats. However, I would also like the inclusion of boreal flora, which requires the addition of taiga to their suitable biomes. As you have pointed out, other animals also suffer from the inaccurate "Arctic continent" tag, like the Arctic wolf.

The reason why I didn't want to go into too much detail about space requirements in this thread is that our understanding of animal space requirements in captivity changes quiet often over short periods of time and isn't always very scientific, so it could potentially take the post out of context. Otherwise I agree there are serious issues with the consistency of current space requirements in the game and I had made one of the earlier analyses on the subject in one of the news threads days before the whole debate had sparked.

As for ideal temperatures ranges, you are right that it shouldn't be as limiting as it is right now for most endotherms in the game, something that can easily be observed by visiting zoos in different seasons or by checking out AZA and EAZA care manuals. As for the ectotherms, like reptiles, they actually should be affected by unsuitable weather more so than they currently do in the game. Both categories need a revision in my opinion. One of the reasons why they could have set it up like this is the lack of temperature fluctuations in certain biomes (e.g. Taiga, Tundra, and even Temperate since it includes Continental climates) and the exact opposite in others (e.g. Tropical) causing them to limit endotherm temperature tolerance (so they are not happy in all biomes) while extending it for ectotherms (so they are happy in warm biomes). As I had pointed out earlier in my original post, the inaccuracies in temperature fluctuations in the biomes the game has is a serious issue that needs to be addressed and once this is addressed, I believe the issues with temperature tolerances can also be fixed since now you won't have warm temperate endotherms surviving -40 degree winters. It's pretty much a group of problems and potential solutions that are interlinked, which need to be addressed simultaneously.

On a final note, now that I have the time, I will be updating the list with inaccuracies that were introduced with the new DLC, which includes some of the issues you have also noticed. Another issue that I rather recently noticed, something to do with how engines calculates certain things, will also be included in one of the future updates.
 
Top Bottom