Friday, 2 July 2010

[To Coin a World] Ecology: The Narheti Plains


Known for its distinctive black-and-white stripes, herds of zebras are one of the most common sights on the Narheti Plains. Highly adaptable grazers with a powerful digestive system, they can subsist on almost any vegetation. As hardly plains dwellers with numerous predators, most zebra breeds are deeply ill-tempered and easily panicked. However, the Darkmane Zebra of the spinmost Narheti is a calmer breed, and is used as a beast of burden and mount by the nomadic people of that region.
A common plains zebra


The scattered scrubs and uplands of the Narheti often are home to family-based tribes of raboons. These dangerous and aggressive omnivores generally subsist on scavenged kills from larger predators, but they will opportunistically take down wounded prey themselves and feast. A number of different species inhabit the plains - most common is the Vulgar Raboon, but the Grand Raboon, Mountain Raboon, Hopping Raboon and tiny Piper Raboons are all found in wide-ranging areas of the Narheti.

Raboons and their close baboon relatives

Elands and other antelopes

The various breeds of antelope make up the largest family of grazers to be found on the Narheti, from the gracile gazelle to the enormous eland, the intrepid impala and the razor-quick reebok. Common to all species are the impressive horns of both genders, slender yet powerful legs that propel them at high speed when escaping predators, and extremely acute senses that serve them well in the open plains.
The eland - the largest breed of antelope

The enormous size and diversity of the Narheti means that it is home to a vast variety of grazing animals, from antelopes to zebras to rabbucks. There are two main families of rabbucks - the hopping rabbucks, more closely related to their lagomorph ancestors, and the running rabbucks who dominate the open plains. Hopping rabbucks are most often found in the more forested regions of Zwuyala, where their ability to rise up on their haunches opens up a wide variety of food sources.

The beatrix - a common hopping rabbuck breed, found not only in Zwuyala but parts of Spindlwick
The strank - typical of the running rabbucks of the Narheti


One of the more curious inhabitants of the Narheti is the lank - a flightless grazer descended from the pterosaurs that soar above Zwuyala's jungles. With their elongated necks, lanks are able to subsist on both the tallest leaves of trees and the lowest grasses of the Narheti. Their eyes, placed high on the head, are adept at detecting movement from a distance, allowing the flock to flee at a moment's notice when a predator is spotted.

Two lanks grazing - note the vestigal claws on the upper front legs

With thanks to: Dougal Dixon's New Dinosaurs and After Man, Wikipedia

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