Saturday, October 13, 2007

K - The King Shielyana

[click to enlarge]

There are several varieties of Shielyana, including: the Dwarf Shielyana, Zompire Shielyana, Emerald Shielyana, and King Shielyana. Of these, the King Shielyana is the largest and most majestic -- being approximately 50 feet long and covered with shining sapphire-blue scales.

Shielyanas are essentially a form of land whale. All cetaceans (whales, dolphins, and porpoises) are descendants of land-living mammals; Shielyana aside, their closest living relative is the Hippopotamus. In a moment of evolutionary indecision, after having returned to the oceans where all life began, Shielyanas decided that life on land really was better after all. Going from one extreme to the other, the Shielyana's aquatic forebears moved as far inland as possible and became desert dwellers.

The King Shielyana is native to the Sonoran Desert, with the majority of specimens being found within Arizona's state borders. Whereas most desert animals find shade during the hottest part of the day, the Shielyana thrives in the heat, and seeks out all-bright locations. The animal regulates internal temperature by raising or lowering its webbed dorsal fan.

Instead of teeth, the King Shielyana has baleen plates growing from its upper jaw, which allow filter-feeding. The animal's diet consists primarily of pollen and air-borne desert krill.

Shielyanas lead a solitary existence until it comes time to mate. Once they have a found a suitable partner, they spend the rest of their life traveling as a pair. The animal typically bear two young per litter.

1 comment:

Shield said...

Which relative is the hippopotamus?