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1  Santharian World Development / The Santharian Bestiary / Mirror-back turtle on: 21 August 2010, 07:29:03
Hi! This is my first entry, so I still have some things to add but your comments are quite welcome. Thanks :)

Mirror-back turtle

Overview

The coral lagoon on the island of Lesmir, in the Scattersand Shoals, is home to the shy and enchanting Mirror-back turtle. The enormity of the animal, and striking beauty of it's shell makes it a breathtaking sight to visitors of the island.


Appearance

This gentle creature has an incredible body length of a little more than two and a half peds, with rough scaley skin of forest green in colour. This skin is very tough and resistant, providing extra protection against potential predators. The most outstanding feature of this animal is definitely its glorious protective shell. This shell can be up to 2 peds in length, and is strikingly beautiful, due to the mirror effect of its emerald and royal purple diamond pattern. When the turtle is hauled out on a beach, or skimming the surface of the water, the sun glints off the shell, creating a dazzling effect.

Although, this creature is seen as a gentle and docile, it has extraordinary defence methods. Firstly, it has a horn on its forhead, made purely of bone and around a palmspan in length. Although this animal is a very shy creature, if the Mirror-back turtle is set upon by any approaching predators, it wouldn't think twice about driving this deadly weapon into its attacker, and causing possible fatal damage. Further more, it has an unusual looking tail, that is a diamond-like shape, which possesses three spikes each on the upper and lower sides. This again is ideal for defending themselves against any predators. However, these spikes are only a nailsbredth in length, so they wouldn't do an awful lot of damage, but could provide the turtle with the time to make a quick escape. The tail is forest green in colour like the body and is half a ped in length and the spikes are made from very hard bone.

Due to its large, heavy body, the Mirror-back needs a lot of power in order to swim, so it is equiped with two highly muscular flippers near the front of its body, each around one and a quater peds in length. Also for extra strength and to help to propel it through the water, it also possesses two back flippers, and these are about half a ped in length.

Large, violet eyes are set in the oval-shaped face, and they have a powerful beak, perfect for making short work of the turtle's chosen meal. The dazzling eyes gleam eerily, when the moonlight shines on them, which can be quite unnerving for sailors to witness when sailing through the shoals at night. In the daylight hours though, despite it's large size, and heavily armoured body, its face is nevertheless unquestionably aborable.
 

Special abilities

One of the Mirror-back turtles special abilities is its defensive abilities. Possessing a tough skin, a rock hard shell, and the horns on its head and tail, it is very well protected . The mirrored effect  of the shell can also be used to dazzle the predator, sending it into a confused state, and giving the turtle a chance to get away.

The Mirror-back turtle does have to take in oxygen to breath. However they can take this from the oxygen in the water, which allows them to stay underwater for up to two hours without the need to come to the surface.


Territory

The mirror-back turtle lives in the scattersand shoals, specifically in the Coral Lagoon, which is located on the island called lesmir. This Island is ideal for the turtles as it is a danger free place for the turtles to live.


Habitat and behavior

The Mirror-back turtle inhabits the coral lagoon on the lesmir isle. The water in the Lagoon is fairly shallow, being only around 5 to 6 peds deep, and it's surrounded by a beautiful barrier reef.   The lagoon itself is around half a stral in length and two dashes in width. The coral lagoon makes a safe and secure environment for the turtle community because it is quite enclosed with few openings for the turtles to go out to hunt, if and when they need to.

Though the turtles are communal animals, they also seem to enjoy a little solitude once in a while. The lagoon is big enough for the turtles to have some time alone to hunt and laze around on the beach, which rests on the edge of the lagoon. The young turtles tend to spend their days playing together while the older ones prefer to lounge in the warm water. They have been seen to chase each other in the water, while carrying pieces of seaweed in their beaks. The turtles are very gentle and caring towards each other and if an intruder invades their paradise they will cooperate together to protect the community.


Diet

These creatures live off various crustateans, sea urchins and sea grasses, which all of which can be found in the lagoon. However, the singing jellyfish is a great delicacy to the Mirror-back turtles and these are located outside the lagoon, a little way off the island. But to venture outside the lagoon is to put themselves at risk of being ambushed by a group of moon shark, which are their main predator. So these excursions outside their safe haven are few and far between.


Mating

When it comes to mating, turtles become very affectionate towards a possible partner, and they will spend many long hours with their mate, before the act of mating occurs. The turtles will flirt with one another, nuzzling against their partners, dancing through the water and making low clicking noises. When these rituals are over, they will go onto land to mate. The single egg will be laid some six months later, and is rather large, at around a fore in length. It is buried in dry sand, in full glare of the sun, so that the egg recieves sufficiant warmth, until it hatches around 90 days later.

When the young turtle breaks out of the egg, using its horn to assist it, the shell is soft, and requires an hour or two of sunbathing for it to harden. The baby measures a fore and a half, including the head and tail, and as such is relatively safe from predators on both land and in the lagoon, though they will not venture out into the open ocean until they're considerably larger.

It takes around 5 years for the young turtle to reach its full size, and a further 3 years before it becomes sexually mature. The mating season occurs once every five years, so the population of Mirror-backs is not vast.


Usages

Due to the beauty of the Mirror-back's shell, it is sometimes hunted so that the shell can be used to make decorative items, such as jewellery, beads, and
decorations. The size, strength, and armour-like body of the turtle makes this difficult though, so it is not a frequent occurence.


Myth/Lore/Origin

(to be written)

2  Organization and General Discussions / Newbie Information, Joining Requests and Recruitment / Re: Hi! on: 20 August 2010, 03:02:46
Thankyou everyone for being so welcoming  grin
I've already got my first project underway and I plan to have it up shortly.

Nice to see you again Smee!  grin
3  Organization and General Discussions / Newbie Information, Joining Requests and Recruitment / Hi! on: 19 August 2010, 23:45:14
Hi! My name is Tatkret Sos, but you can just call me Tatty, or Tats if you prefer. :)

I joined the site after my sister (Tikanni Corazon) asked me to read through her Moon shark entry, and I decided to have a go.

I unfortunately don't share my sisters talent for art, but I think I'm pretty imaginative, and I will do my best to add to the dream.  grin
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