Mystery Island Exploration – Jungle Fauna
This summer I, Lillooh the white Xweetok, am going to explore Mystery Island’s wildlife! Walking in the path of my mentor, Lilian Fairweather, I invite you to join me by reading my reportage on the field, one day at a time. Let us first uncover the secret about Petpets found in the deepest part of the jungle.
Day 1, Month of Relaxing 2nd
We are departing soon. I am still at the Knight’s Lance, the island next to Meridell. It’s the closest seaport to Mystery Island, so this is where I must take my cargo to reach my destination.
The captain showed me my cabin. Actually, I’m lodging in the hold, between a box of sniddberries and a box of asparacones. That’s quite uncomfortable, but nothing is harsh enough to keep me from completing my duty!
Oh wait! Something’s making noise in the box of asparacones! It’s full of Gratliks! Oh well, let’s talk about those right now. Gratliks are small insects with a little, but sharp, mouth. Their mouth actually serves them as powerful scissors to pierce and cut hard fruits and vegetables, like asparacones. They hail from Meridell, in fact. However, since Mystery Island imports great quantities of food from Meridell, those Petpets have been introduced on the island. Gratliks travel in the boxes of food to Mystery Island and are now spread around the island. Fortunately, since there are quite a large number of insect-eating Petpets on Mystery Island, the introduction of Gratliks didn’t have any negative impact on the biodiversity of the island. Nowadays, they are much more common on Mystery Island than in Meridell, so they are classified as being part of its fauna.
I’m going to try to sleep, now. The travel will be long before we arrive to our destination.
Day 2, Month of Relaxing 3rd
When I wake up, the captain is screaming that we are now at the harbour of Tikitown, the main village of Mystery Island, and that he was waiting for me to disembark so he could go back to Meridell. I apologize, even though he threw all my baggage on the beach.
What was waiting for me on the pier? No, it’s not a welcoming committee for me. Mystery Island should really improve their greeting custom. It was a group of Chuchuanas that was dwelling in the sun on some rocks around the pier. Chuchuanas are usually calm and fearless Petpets. Since they mainly live in open areas like the beach, they would be easy preys for the hungry predators from the forest. However, in their cheeks, there are little pouches of a violent poison that would kill almost anything in a long agony. That poison serves them to defend them from predators but also to kill their prey, mostly Gratliks and Petpetpets.
I walk around the town (I’m not here as a tourist, but as an adventurer) and set up my camp near the edge of the jungle, under a zeenana tree. It’ll provide me with food during my stay. From there, I can see the Techo Mountain and the Mystery Island Volcano at its summit. The forest is surrounding it and, at the south of the mountain, I can see the jungle is darker. It’s the Lost City of Geraptiku, the deepest and most unknown part of the forest. As the sun sets, complete darkness surrounds me.
Complete? Not exactly. I could still see small glowing blue lights dancing in the air. What a marvellous spectacle! They must be Blumbluzzes. Those Petpetpets only show themselves at night, when the darkness makes it possible to see their glowing color. This light allows them to communicate. They can make it flash and slightly change color (invisible for normal pets’ eyes!) that means different things. That way, they can report the presence of any danger or food. Their small dart might seem harmless, but when fifty of those little stings prick you, it can be pretty annoying.
I fall asleep watching this beautiful phenomenon.
Day 3, Month of Relaxing 4th
I wake up when something hits my head. I open my eyes, and see dozens of squished zeenanas on the ground around me. I can hear noise over my head. I look in the zeenana tree and I see a group of four angry Mombas screeching. They continue to throw me zeenanas. I finally decide to move my camp somewhere else.
Mombas might not look very intelligent, but they strongly defend their territory. They usually live in groups of four to ten. I believe their offspring was hidden in the leaves of the tree and that’s what they were trying to protect. Their green color is a great camouflage and makes them hard to see in a tree.
I walk into the jungle. Along the path, I see silhouettes swinging slowly with the wind in some tree. It’s a pack of Bazatlans! They are night-dwelling Petpets, the main predator of Blumbluzes. They sleep in large packs in trees during the day and leave them only to hunt at night. They communicate and locate objects by echolocation, which means that they emit a sound and listen to the echo of this sound to “see” their environment. Their large ears make them able to detect even the most elusive echo. They are only vulnerable during the day, when Blugars can climb the trees during their sleep and attack them.
I let the Bazatlans sleep and continue my road. Trees become gradually scarce and a putrid odour floats in the air. My Adventurer Boots are now completely flooded. This is a marsh! The trees have bigger roots here to cling well to the unstable ground. Some green plants are growing here and there, where the water is not too deep. Marshes might seem disgusting and dirty, but they hold a great biodiversity. They also play a major role in eliminating the toxins of the environment and preventing floods during the rain season. Ouch! Something bit me! I look on my arm and I see a little Moquot draining a little bit of my blood and then fleeing. The Moquots are little Petpetpets that feed themselves off Neopet and Petpet blood. In fact, only the female Moquot need blood to nourish the eggs. The male Moquot is herbivore. Unfortunately, Neopets don’t like those annoying Petpetpets and other creatures dwelling in marshes, so they tend to drain the water and build villages over the marches. By doing so, they destroy an important ecosystem and expose lots of species to extinction.
I think I’ll call it a day! I find a ridge near the marsh and set up my camp again. I look in the trees around, just to make sure I won’t irritate any Mombas this time. I’m hungry, so I stay up to explore around to find food. I discover a patch of greens. I try to pick one and... it moves a little on the left. Weird. I try to pick it up again, and it moves a little bit on the right, this time. It’s not a green! All of a sudden, the whole patch of greens flees and disappears behind the nearest tree. Ok, now I think I’m should go to sleep. I go back to the camp and pit some roseattes on a shrub.
When I sit on my sleeping bag, I finally understand. These were probably Yackitos! Yackitos are smart little Petpets that like to mock of other Petpets (and Neopets, apparently). Their head is shape like a leafy vegetable. Because of its weight, they can’t fly, so they usually disguise themselves as plants. They also live in groups of ten to fifty individuals.
I fall asleep after my poor meal.
Day 4, Month of Relaxing 5th
I wake up because of cold water spilled on me. I open my eyes, and a Crocalu looks back at me. A Crocalu! I get up in two seconds, grab all my bags, and run. When I’m far enough, I stop to take my breath back. Crocalus are big Petpets that live in marshes. They are great swimmers in the water, but are pretty slow on the ground. They aren’t really dangerous if you don’t go too near... Crocalus eat mostly Petpets that drink the water they live in. They wait for the Petpet to be busy drinking and they carefully approach their prey. Since Crocalus have huge lungs, they can stay underwater without breathing for a long time and approach their prey without being noticed. When they are near enough to their prey, they slam it and swallow it whole. Crocalus don’t have molars to chew, so they can only tear the meat and swallow.
I continue my way in the forest. I can hear noise in the bushes next to me. I look behind them and see an Antwerph feeding itself. It is attacking a Vernax nest and is trying to catch all the little Petpetpets attempting to escape. Antwerphs are insectivores that, obviously, eat Vernaxes. They look a like small furry Elephantes with their trunks. However, these trunks are actually their mouths, while they are noses for Elephantes. A long tongue can come out of the Antwerph’s trunk. That tongue infiltrates little holes where Petpetpets are hiding. The Vernaxes stick to the mucus that the tongue secretes and when it comes out of the hole, the Antwerph just has to put it back in its mouth.
I leave the Antwerph to its meal and continue my way deeper in the jungle. Suddenly, I see something written on a tree. I thought no one had come to this part of the forest for centuries! I read the message: “Go away!” And then, I see, on many other trees, similar messages. They are all written in small red letters. And then, I understand! It must be Scriblets! Those Petpetpets can write with the red ink that is secreted by the tips of their horns. At this time of the year, when the females are nesting, each couple defend a tree and writes warnings on its cork to repel strangers.
Scriblets are really chatty Petpetpets. They send each other messages by writing everywhere. A local legend even tells that a very wise Scriblet already published an article in the Neopian Times.
Oh well, I guess I will listen to their warnings and go back to Tikitown. It’s the end of this adventure. Be aware of my next adventure to inform you a little further on the other discoveries this island still has in store!