Mystery Capiri

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Mystery Capiri
(Brachiocervus lazarus)
Main image of Mystery Capiri
Species is extant.
CreatorDisgustedorite Other
HabitatMaineiac Marsh, Maineiac Mudflat, Maineiac Temperate River, Maineiac Temperate Riparian, Maineiac Lake, Maineiac Temperate Palus, Maineiac Montane River, Maineiac Montane Riparian
Size50 cm long
Primary MobilityUnknown
SupportEndoskeleton (Bone)
DietOmnivore (Yanisflora, Brieneux, Vingrasions, Maineiac Bubbleweed, Bubblebush, Shelterkelp, Bubblily, Baebula, Sappy Pinknose, Colonial Bubblgea, Pilonomroot, Marbleflora, Colonialballs, juvenile Leafy Plyentwort, Maineiac Bubblepede, Minikruggs, Pedesorm, Pedemuk, Eusuckers)
RespirationActive (Lungs)
ReproductionSexual (Male and Female, Hard-Shelled Eggs in Nests)
Brachiocervus lazarus

The mystery capiri replaced its ancestor. Small and seldom-seen, this little capiri seems, at first, to be a fairly ordinary capiri. Very little sticks out as special about it at all, in fact, as it is very similar to its ancestor in anatomy, though it is smaller and more omnivorous. But there is one strange detail that gives the mystery capiri its name: it appears to be displaced in time by about 50 million years.

The alleged extinction of capiris at the end of the snowball event was not nearly what it seemed, as there was one small wetland-dwelling species that managed to slip under the radar. It spawned a ghost lineage which apparently managed to raft to the volcanic island that would eventually become Lamarck. It survived unnoticed in the millions of years that passed, having laid low in the face of competition from other organisms in the area, and any fossils it left before just the last few million years were buried by frequent volcanic eruptions. The mystery capiri stands as the end point of that ghost lineage.

The mystery capiri bears many traits typical of capiris. It has a keratinous beak and crest, a pair of compound eyes each consisting of three eyes in a single socket, a color-changing sail, a single pair of legs derived from its forelimbs, and a tail derived from what was once a leg as well. The tail bears spikes at its end, which can be used to strike a chasing predator using a kicking motion. Less common for capiris, but typical of its derived ancestry, it lacks teeth, has a long prehensile tongue, and has spikes at the tip of each sail spine. Its body is covered in scales, but it has a layer of fat which allows it to hold in some of the heat it generates.

Moving on to the specifics of the mystery capiri itself, this small creature roams up and down the floodplain in small family groups, using its tongue to snack on flora and small easy-to-catch fauna that it passes by. Its favorite food is the yanisflora, which its ancestors also ate, but it will also eat other leafy flora in its environment. It regularly enters the river itself to feed on aquatic flora, even wandering into deep water and using the high placement of its nostrils to take breaths even when it's completely submerged otherwise, but it usually sticks close to shore so that it can flee from aquatic predators.

The mystery capiri has little protection against winter chill, so over the winter the entire species migrates north to hibernate in the shelter of small natural caves carved along the mountain river. This is the only time one is likely to see a large number of them in one place. In the spring, they all wake up and disperse downstream to breed and lay their eggs along the river, lake, and wetlands. Mate selection is determined by color-changing displays and dances using their long tongues to show health and dexterity, respectively. Once their eggs hatch, parents and their young will proceed to start wandering the riverside together. The young grow quickly and reach full size after their first year, but they will not start breeding until their second. Mystery capiris have a life expectancy of 3–4 years, but if they are not killed by predators or disease, they can live as long as 12.