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T'katzis (Katzlan)

on Sun Apr 01, 2018 6:41 pm
Description:

T'katzis are an intelligent lizard species with some limited number of traits in common with humans, such as bipedalism, spoken and written language, living in social groups, etc. Their limb configuration is much as would be expected of a bipedal lizard: Two arms, two legs, and a tail. Though that remains constant for the species, it isn't uncommon for individuals to be born "false limbs"; Horns, ridges, extraneous external bones or other appendages that serve limited or zero functionality.

T'katzis are partially cold-blooded; They're capable of generating their own internal body heat to some degree, though the mechanisms for achieving this, from a evolutionary standpoint, are far less developed and have limited effectiveness. This effectively makes them somewhat dependent on their environment for regulating body heat, in a similar manner to that of other lizards, though not as significantly.

Unlike most other species, it's difficult to give a realistic "average height" for t'katzis, due to that unlike most other species, t'katzis lack many of the genes responsible for regulating growth which are common to most species, intelligent or otherwise. This effectively means that they never stop growing, and it may therefore be more practical instead to give a "maximum height". Like most lizards, t'katzis are an egg-laying species, and gender is dependent on average temperature during the incubation period, with hotter or colder temperatures leading to male or female offspring respectively. Upon hatching, t'katzis enter a period of rapid growth and high metabolism, reaching adult maturity at a rate far quicker than most sentient species. However, much like many other species, once fully matured, their metabolism begins to slow down, thus also slowing down their growth. At maturity, average height tend to be about roughly ~5ft to ~6ft. Due to a limited ability to self-regulate temperature, as they continue to grow and the demands of their body increase, they eventually reach a point whereby their limited ability to self-regulate temperature further affects their metabolism, beginning a cycle of further slowing down and the marking the beginnings of their senior years. Contrary to how it may sound on the surface, this may be a blessing in disguise, as it inevitably will extend their lifespan beyond what it would otherwise be had this slowdown not occurred. Eventually, further continued growth will begin to put strain on their organs, as well as strain on their ability to maintain the minimum energy intake required for continuation of life, and when their organs can no longer tolerate this increasing strain, they'll begin to shut down, signally the approaching end of the life. Their estimated height at that point in their life could be considered a measurement of likely "maximum height". A t'katzis of ~6ft at maturity could expect a maximum height at death of about ~10ft (or ~3m), though in some extremely rare cases, they've been known to grow to nearly twice that size (though any ~20ft tall t'katzis would be likely to severe health problems and limited mobility).

Throughout their growth, their growth isn't limited to height; Bone density, muscle mass, and even the number of "false limbs" an individual possesses may increase over time, with new horns or features sometimes appearing during mid-life or even their senior years. Their added bone density means that they tend to get stonger and tougher as they get older, but also significantly adds to the overall strain on their internal organs.

As per the norm for lizards, t'katzis have no hair, but instead, possess scales. T'katzis scale tends to be small and smooth, similar to that of a snake or goanna. With an elongated snout and rows of small, sharp teeth, the face of t'katzis in some ways look almost saurid in nature. Though not a constant, it isn't unusual for them to also possess rows of ridged "horns" on their heads or down the length of their spine. Variations in horn arrangement and size occur just as variations of eye and hair colour occur in humans.

T'katzis hands and feet are similar to the paws of goannas or large monitors, being pentadactyl (i.e., having five digits), with non-retractable claws. However, unlike lizards with five "fingers" and no "thumb", t'katzis possess an opposable thumb. T'katzis also possess sharp, stereoscopic, forward-facing eyes, but lack external ears, having instead small circular openings that lead directly to the ear canal, much the same as with other lizards.

Their tails tend to parallel that of large goannas and monitor lizards quite closely in terms of structure, function, and relative tail-body length ratio. T'katzis have a wide range of scale and skin colours and extremely varied patterns between individuals. These colours include those not unknown to reptiles and amphibians, but typically considered "exotic" in the natural world by mammalian standards, such as bright greens, purples, crimsons, golds and so on. Green tends to make an appearance more than any other colours, but the range is by no means limited.

T'katzis are also semi-aquatic. They don't possess gills and can't breath underwater like true aquatic organisms, but can't hold their breath underwater for significant lengths of time, surfacing to breath occasionally when required. They tend to move slightly faster in the water than on land, and feel quite comfortable in the native swamps and marshlands from whence they evolved.

Distribution:

Due to their reliance on environment for regulating body heat, t'katzis are most comfortable in warmer climates, near to the equator. It is highly unlikely that t'katzis could survive for any significant length of time in frigid climates, such as those at the poles, without assistance from others or without a reliable source of heat. Additionally, having evolved in swamps and marshlands, t'katzis would prefer and fair better in such conditions, but could still conceivably live comfortably in dry conditions, such as deserts, as long as the temperature remained warm enough for them or they had some reliable heat source.

Due to limited preferable environments in the world, t'katzis tend to be mostly limited to their native homeland, but could conceivably expand to suitable environments elsewhere across the equator. Significant expansion towards the poles would be highly unlikely.

Distant travel is more likely to be done by the young or relatively recently matured, due not only to being closer in size to other intelligent races, but also due to having a metabolism that would still permit the physical burdens of distant travel. T'katzis in their senior years would be less likely to travel abroad.
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