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  • These large, spine-shelled aquatic reptiles have long made the Sea of Gennaios famous. Their rough, deep green shell appears as a shadow in the crystalline blue waters that the terrapin favors, while the golden highlights that line the shell resemble streams of light dancing on the open water. The turtle-like creature’s flippers, tail, and head are a lighter green, with silver scales flecked about. An adult terrapin can measure from ten to twenty feet from snout to tail, with a shell from eight to fifteen feet in diameter; and can weigh as much as four tonnes.

    In the early history of the Gennaian Isles, terrapins were hunted for their shells; which even today are highly valued on the black market. Due to the shell's immense strength, shields made from it are exceptionally tough and resistant to flame. Their shells were also valued for use as book covers, jewellery, furniture, and building material that still marks ancient city districts today. Nearly hunted to extinction, the advent of Terrapinning saved the species due to its sheer popularity. A modern sailing sport, the act of terrapinning involves anchoring a small ship to the shell of the great turtles. They then sail out into an incoming storm, douse their sails, and attempt to steer back to shore safely. As the sport became more widespread through the Isles, it sparked awareness towards their plight. In 7C-294, a conservationist group known as the Dentric Order began championing the cause of the terrapins. Citing a passage in the Endless Waves where Sjilea mentioned her admiration for the beauty of these animals in passing, the group successfully convinced the Gennaian kings and queens to ban the killing of the new symbol of the Isles.

    Today, terrapins have made an outstanding recovery reside along the Isles in an ecosystem spanning nearly five-hundred thousand square miles. Living along and feeding upon small fish within the coral reefs, they favor the sites of shipwrecks for the new food brought into their environment. A terrapin will only mate three times over the course of its two-hundred year lifespan, leaving a half-dozen eggs buried on land to incubate for two years. When hatched, the young turtles will use their still-molting shells to hunt sea birds by firing spiny segments of this pre-shell at their quarry. If the young terrapin can survive its first two weeks on land, its new shell will have developed and solidified as the old molts away; allowing it to finally enter the ocean and seek out its dole.

     

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