The Bones of Kazcallen Species in Cathedris | World Anvil

Cathedris Themesong

The Bones of Kazcallen

Hints of what's been lost

In the vibrant hostpot of life that eventually became the Desolation Plains of Kazcallen, numerous great species once roamed and made their homes. We can make our best guesses as to what sorts of creatures they were, but all we've got to go off of now are their bones.
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Kazcallen Revitalization Specialist
  While there's evidence abound signifying the previous existence of countless diverse species of plants and animals in the now desloate plains of central Kazcallen, a few in particular stand out among the rest. A series of large bones have been found jutting out of sand dunes and bedrock throughout large portions of the southern plains; while many appear similar enough to be possibly related species, there's a few in particular that stand out as mega-fauna from before The Seven Day War that have caught researchers, and the public's, attention.  

The Evidence for Great Species

The number of "Great Bones" that have been discovered number upwards into the hundreds. They've been located spread all throughout the southern parts of the Desolation Plains -- a large swathe of Kazcallen that's been scraped bare, down to the bedrock, and is generally lifeless, aside from the God-husk known as Xiuthan trudging around. Most of them are scattered across the land, a side-effect from Xiuthan's great attack that wiped the surface clean of life, which makes putting together complete skeletons an incredibly difficult task.  
Most often what is found first is rib-cage -- so long as it hasn't crumbled or broken into smaller pieces. These large constructs of bone are first to be uncovered when sand dunes drift across the region, and generally stand out most among the lifeless landscape.   The other pieces to the animal's skeleton are often still found within the same quadrant, a large plot of land that's been demarcated in order to better categorize the search.
Ribs... hip... Hmm. Still missing most of the skeleton. Not nearly enough information here to make an educated guess as to what it was. What we really need now is its skull.
Kazcallen Revitalization Specialist
 

The Symbol of What Was

Of all the bones discovered and all the ancient species reconstructed or theorized, one is the most famous -- seen as a symbol of the research into Kazcallen's past, and a goal for the future through the Kazcallen Revitalization Project.   Known by the public as Collosi, these ancient species are better described as 'Giant Land Whales'. Currently, 7 complete skeletons of these Land Whales have been discovered and reassembled; through examining these remains, it's thought that the giant animals could grow to be roughly 30m in length, and had 6 muscular legs used to propel themselves across the ground.   Despite their massive legs, the Collosi are thought to have not been all that mobile; instead it's theorized that they spent much of their time in one location at a time, existing as ambush predators. Their skulls show massive trap-door like mouths that can hinge all the way open, almost to 180 degrees -- they'd be able to open their maw and wait for prey to step in.

Other Theoried Species

Not all of the mega-bones that have been discovered in the Desolation Plains can be grouped into one species. In fact, many of them are different enough and fit together with enough other pieces that a few different disticnt species of animals are beginning to be pieced together from this expansive region.  
 
Giants of the forest
Triclawed Greatbears
Bone locations
Quadrant 4, SE
Class
Mammal
  Thought to be enormous bears, nearly as large as a small house. Easily identifiable by the three large claws on each of the animals's paws.  
 
Legs, so many legs
Omniped Meadowbeast
Bone locations
Quadrant 2, NE
Class
Mammal
  These animals were distinguished by their many legs; no complete skeleton has ever been found, so it's not clear how many legs they once had, but current estimates guess at 8 pairs of legs per animal, at least.  
 
Armed and Armored
Carcinized Titanofrog
Bone locations
Quadrant 3, SW
Class
Amphibian
  A few species of Titanofrog have been discovered across the world, but these ones on Kazcallen's south coast are notable for their armored backs and grasping claws.
What sort of animal would even be dumb enough to walk into a Colossi's mouth? The land whales are huge, no way something doesn't notice the trap it's about to enter!
— A Child's curiosity
 

Colossal Predators

These Giant Land Whales likely saw success as predators precisely because of their size; their metabolism was likely so slow that they'd be able to sit motionless for days, even weeks, with their gaping mouth wide open, waiting for their next meal. Additionally, it's thought that their hide may have been well suited to their environment, possibly even allowing them to blend in with the surroundings in a small way.   Combining their ability to remain perfectly still with their well camouflaged hide, it's possible that after a few days of stillness, a Colossi would essentially vanish and blend into the environment, appearing simply as a cave opening, small pond, or strange structure of rocks and bushes. At this point, prey such as small mammals, various species of birds, or even larger vertebrates looking for somewhere to rest or re-hydrate might find themselves standing next to, or within, the mouth of a Giant Land Whale.    

Life

As with studying most skeletons, it's hard to tell just how long it might have lived for -- comparisons can be made to other similar animals, however. Various large land fauna have been found capable of living for upwards of 40 years, and whales that call the ocean home are often able to live past 80, thus a Colossi's life span is assumed to be somewhere within the range of 40-80 years.

Cycle

Being mammals, Colossi are expected to have given live birth. However, no infant or adolescent Colossi skeletons are known to have been found; or if they have, they've been incorrectly identified as a different animal. Therefor scientists are not certain enough to safely claim that these animals did indeed give live birth, and they're similarly uncertain how long they reared their young for.

 

Too Big to be Prey?

The scientific community is split on whether or not the Colossi would have any natural predators; many suspect that due to the animal's incredible size, there'd be nothing else that's able to hunt it. However, while the skeletons of these animals may be the largest found in the region, one does not have to look far to find other species that are approaching the Colossi in scale. It's not out of the question that some of these other ancient animals, such as the Triclawed Greatbears, could have been the predators to make these massive land-based whales into their prey.  


 


Cover image: Photobash by Stormbril, input images by artists in image description

Comments

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Jul 20, 2023 04:50

Way too many legs :o

Jul 20, 2023 16:47 by Stormbril
Jul 20, 2023 16:31 by Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull

On the one hand, I'm sad these species are extinct. On the other hand...

Emy x   Etrea | Vazdimet
Jul 20, 2023 16:47 by Stormbril

At the very least I wish Carcinized Titanofrogs were still around, they sound like friends

Jul 24, 2023 18:45 by Reanna R

I don't know if you've seen versions of the 'this is obviously a trap' meme, but this article reminds me of it. "Flies are so dumb to get caught by the venus fly trap" "Mice should be ashamed for getting caught in this" "How can bears not see that this is obviously a hunter's trap?" *steps into an unassuming cave and gets eaten by a giant land whale*

May your worldbuilding hammer always fall true! Also, check out the world of the Skydwellers for lots of aerial adventures.
Jul 27, 2023 23:17 by Stormbril

Ahahaha, yeah, that's very accurate xD

Aug 3, 2023 15:54 by Mardrena Lockehart

Y do you have to be so awesome? I'm trying to spread the love around and just my luck I ran out of fingers counting how many authors I selected that didn't get past copper its like RL hit everyone like the door-to-door Grim Reaper meme. I'm getting a "nazca lines with giant frickin skeletons" vibe from this article. Love it!

Crazy Anime Cat Lady and Gamer Nun, Proud Texan Enjoying Renaissance Faires.
Aug 14, 2023 16:16 by Stormbril

Aw shucks! <3 Thank you :D

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