Aut: Department of Wildlife Biology, Egur-Yeil Institute
Dt: 619 A.T.
This report documents the work of several teams of researchers from the Department of Wildlife Biology at the Egur-Yeil Institute. These teams have completed relevant literature reviews in addition to research travel to the Local Group in The Outcropping known as Pan Arbnhap. While the exact nature of the climate and environment across this Local Group has yet to be fully explained, this research has shed light on previously unknown elements of the fauna of Pan Arbnhap. It should be noted that as in previous instances, research within Pan Arbnhap is carried out discreetly, and on planet-stars that institutes believe to be uninhabited.
This work relies in part on the soil analysis of Esleal yla Ihcojhlo—better known for An Abjective Structure, their published journal of the excursion into Vale Reef—that tells us there is little difference between Pan Arbnhap and other Local Groups of The Outcropping. This minute variation—seen across 412 samples from 14 planet-stars compared to samples previously procured from The Outcropping—does not explain the soil’s prolificacy by any chemical increase.
Esleal establishes in the previously discussed analysis—Report 562.8-12—that this difference is not the cause of the abundance of flora and fauna not seen elsewhere in The Outcropping. They suggest in closing in an effort to prompt further research, that the soil’s prolificacy is not an inherent property of the soil but is instead a product of some other—or several—environmental effects that render otherwise inhospitable soil so prolific. Through our research so far assembled, it appears as though what are normal causal environmental relationships may not be organized the same way in Pan Arbnhap—though it is inconclusive as to how or why.
We are hesitant to use the term “mystery”, but in some instances are left with explanation so scarce that the term is fitting. After thorough and systemic research, several hypotheses on the area yield results that are inconclusive in such ways that they are confirmed neither true or false. Thusly, we will present most of our findings not as validated conclusions, but as invalidated hypothesis and confirmed observances.
The majority of flora and fauna seen in Pan Arbnhap are endemic to the Local Group due to varying forms and methods of dependence on the area’s atypical moisture content. Whether dependent directly on this atypical moisture content for food, or dependent on a source of food whose existence is contingent upon such moisture, these endemic flora and fauna are unexplained in a variety of ways.
The epbee is seen elsewhere in The Outcropping, yet the species exhibits strange behaviors in Pan Arbnhap. The species is well documented as omnivorous, eating a mix of what little vegetation is normally found and insects. However, across Pan Arbnhap it has been observed that epbee hunt down not only insects, but small birds, and in three confirmed cases, are capable of short-term diving to procure fish. It is unclear why in a Local Group with relatively abundant vegetation the species would resort to hunting fish, birds, and rarely sudamin—prey that would likely require exertion of more effort than their normal prey.
A brief hypothesis was that these hunting practices were picked up in areas of epbee overpopulation, such that the vegetation and insects were scarce relative to the population of the species, but in each instance of observed diving for fish it was observed that there was an appreciable amount of vegetation relative to the size of the local epbee community. It was not possible to confirm the local insect populations by casual observation.
Sudamin are always observed from a distance throughout Pan Arbnhap, as they are throughout The Outcropping. As is the same elsewhere their diet consists of mainly insects, though from what we can observe, we believe different insects make up the majority of their diet in Pan Arbnahp. Due to the availability of fruit-bearing trees and plants, as well as vegetables, sudamin will eat portions of these foods and leave them in the open as a trap for insects whose diet consists of these endemic plants.
Observation suggests that while the species still prefers solitary living, the larger packs can reach numbers around 80 in a small area such as 4 sq. km. Though the observations of sudamin must be conducted nocturnally, these populations not mysterious—given the amount of available food.
While conducting research into this species, a previously undocumented xiruen practice was observed. During an observation sequence that took place over a dark period on what previous reports had indicated as an uninhabited planet-star in the furthest reaches of Pan Arbnhap’s arc, what we believe to be the practice of Ukhlin Thuim was observed. No direct translation of the phrase is known, but had been understood as a ritual of some kind.
At a greater distance than the researchers were from the sudamin—they have large eyes and ears adapted to perceiving threats specifically during dark periods and pori radiate small amounts of light—appeared a large number of xiruen. Within the realm of two to three dozen, the xiruen emerged from a craft landing on the banks of a river. A wooden structure was brought from their craft and drug into the river, where it floated for several minutes.
We speculate that one of the xiruens fired a projectile of some kind into the structure, igniting it before the river took it over the edge of the continent. This is the most probable theory, increasing the likelihood that there was a deceased xiruen in the structure. It is inconclusive—a “mystery”—what constraints and contexts are required or preferred for the Ukhlin Thuim such as the necessity of the river, uninhabited area, or fire.
A modest amount of information was previously known of the eeniimar by our institute, despite only being found in Pan Arbnhap. Before a brief summarization of these findings, we have investigated speculation contained in several of these writings that eeniimar cannot be found in the cold regions despite the migration of some species of fish there – including their primary source of food. Pieces of meat that appear to be eeniimar have been found by our excursions into these cold regions—meat that is attached to scales clearly identifiable as eeniimar scales—but no bodies, indicating that they do not die in these areas, but predators and/or scavengers take their meat there.
Some literature reviews cite reports from local xiruen on the eeniimar, and while the veracity of these reports is questionable due to the endemic nature of eeniimar to Pan Arbnhap—a place where non-xiruen are forbidden—they are worth summarizing in order to compare to results of investigation and observation. These reports indicate that eeniimar are used as an environmental index – they prevent overpopulation of the epbee, and that a large population of eeniimar in a given area indicate a sizable water supply.
Other, more reputable writings are on the species’ mating and communal habits. There are no indications that the species are not pack animals, going hunting in deeper rivers and using their numbers to corral fish, and aggressively patroling territory of the pack—not only a mating pair—for epbee. However, though they have positive to neutral interactions with other mature eeniimar, they openly show hostility to the young not their own.
The final inconclusive observational report—or “mystery”—we have is those of the unee. This species has a domesticated role in xiruen culture. They are bred for their meat, and perhaps as a beast of burden, though this secondary use is disputed by biologists familiar with xiruen’s physical abilities. However, not all unee in The Outcropping, and specifically Pan Arbnhap, are domesticated. While these wild unee appear physically the same in all aspects, it is the behavior that appears distinct from the domesticated species.
This behavior discredits but not disproves an earlier theory that unee skin/scale discolouration is due to light exposure. These wild unee are almost exclusively found in the interior of open-ended cave systems in the low-lying areas of Pan Arbnhap. In these areas water often pools and short grasses grow more abundantly. During the dark, we have observed unee wandering outside the cave systems to other low-lying areas but remaining near the water. Evidence is inconclusive as to whether these wild unee are previously domesticated, descendants of domesticated unee, or represent a branch point from the unee that became domesticated. Along the same lines, it is a “mystery” if these wild unee are truly light-averse as their living preferences would indicate, or the behavior is some form of thermal or energy efficiency.