Painted Turtle Species in Nideon | World Anvil
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Painted Turtle

The painted turtle is the southernmost seaturtle in Nideon. Named for its stippled and striped shell, which resembled that of a calico cat, it mostly lives in the waters around the Southern Islands, but it is also found in the Southern Ocean, especially near the volcanic islands of Igbi and Lowoni. Scientists believe they are able to survive this far south because of their high metabolism as well as the thermal gases that are realeased in the area. There is debate as to whether the turtles live in the area, or if they only migrate there to hunt, as they are particularly easy to find during the migration of Pocket Penguins.
Painted turtles usually travel in a group, known as a bale. They are omnivorous and will eat a variety of plants as well as any smaller animals including fish, penguins, salamanders, as well as the unfortunate bird who is unable to fly away. They are particularly fond of the Southern Hops plant and are believed to have carried the seeds to Lowani Island. Bales have also been known to hunt together to take down larger animals, such as the Bottlenosed Sea Lion. Sea lions have also been known to kill the turtles, however, by ramming them with their noses. Though there are few stories of the turtles attacking humans or Mermish, the underwater islanders of the Southern Islands have built their homes at a healthy distance from the hunting grounds.
Despite the distance of their homes, the southern islanders have been known to hunt the turtles for food. They have also made tools out of their shells and bones. Most notably, Mermish pirates, such as those who sailed with Isa Rosu, were known to have turtle shell weapons and shields. Isa Rosu is also said to have studied the hunting patterns of the painted turtle and used them as a model for attacking with her fleet.
Geographic Distribution
While Mermish and humans often steer clear of painted turtles, ice Dragons have been known to swim with the turtles south of the Southern Continent. Though dragons do not live on Igbi and Lowani, they Xyen scientists have started recruiting them in the hope of adding cultural knowledge to current research. Because dragons are so long lived, they would likely also be able to contribute more accurate historical knowledge.
Igbi and Lowoni
Geographic Location | Jul 21, 2020

The combination of polar ice and active volcanoes has allowed many fascinating species to flourish, sparking scientific interest across the Southern Continent and all around Nideon.

Isa Rosu: Empress of the Ocean
Myth | Nov 30, 2019
  If I'm out sailing, and I'm not hunting, I see a turtle, I give it a wide berth. Where there's one, there's sure to be more. They probably won't attack me, but I'm not prepared to take that risk.
— Fr'phe Islander
The earliest descriptions of the painted turtles come from the Fr'phe Islands. The islanders there wrote about large turtles which were known to hunt in groups. Though the turtles provided food, and their shells and bones made good crafting materials, the islanders were careful about how they approached them, even in hunting them. The painted turtle became a symbol among many mermish of that which should not be taken for granted.
It was not for several centuries later that Xyen scientists studying the wildlife on and around the islands of Igbi and Lowani that anyone knew the turtles actually traveled south of the southern continent. This is likely because the volcanic islands are not populated by humans or even dragons, and the Xyen government has taken steps to keep them this way. Since then, the turtles have been seen many times hunting penguins and sea lions. Scientists believe they are able to survive in the frigid waters due to a combination of their high metabolism and the thermal vents which keep some underwater areas warm. There has been great debate as to whether the turtles live in the area year round or migrate there to hunt. Some people even believe they traveled farther south hoping to escape the more populated southern islands.

Cover image: by Molly Mar


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Aug 8, 2023 13:20 by E. Christopher Clark

Nicely done!

Now it's time for the awkward wave.
Aug 13, 2023 15:12 by Molly Marjorie

Thanks for reading!

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