Life on the Zoasfier
The natural history of the Zoasfier reflects that of Earth. Most familiar plants and animals have parallels on the Zoasfier. Dogs and cats have become companions. Horses, cows, and chickens abound on farms, which also produce corn, wheat, and barley. The forests are filled with pine, maple, oak, and aspen. Within the forests rabbits, squirrels, and deer run amidst the songs of cardinals and chickadees. The Kamatkar Savannah teems with giraffe, rhinoceros, and wildabeast. Fishermen go to sea seeking crab, tuna, and salmon. Gardens bloom with roses, lupine, and gladiolas. Cities struggle with rats and pigeons. These are just a few examples.
In its ancient past, the Zoasfier underwent changes. Creatures like the tyrannosaur, velocirapter, and iguanadon roamed the land, until a cataclysm put an end to them. This event was not quite as severe as Earth's end-cretaceuos mass extinction however- allowing a greater number of species to survive and continue to evolve. Similarly, the Zoasfier did not have any great ice age.
The list below describes some of the more significant and unique species, at least from the point of view of an Earth-bound reader.
An old Earth legend held that while any old pepper could be used to make pepper sauce, only a pepper grown in the unique soil and weather conditions exclusive to Avery Island, Louisiana could make Tobasco Sauce. That special spiciness and flavor could not be reproduced any other way.
In this case, the volcanic soil, proximity to a specific ocean current, and equitorial location of the island of Katensia produce a strain of fennel that cannot be reproduced elsewhere. It is less pungent, but more robust in flavor, and also richer in nutrients. It is in high demand for culinary uses throughout the Zoasfier.
When made into a tea like concoction, it serves as an effective treatment, although not an outright cure, for a parasitic infection that often plagues brocca.
Related to the bladderwort, if you happen to eat this plant, it will eat you right back. Like its cousins, it generally prefers to ensnare insects, arachnids, and maybe small mammals and reptiles in the sticky secretions along its leaves and stems, then slowly absorb its decaying prey for its own nutrition. Like many plants, this variety can completely regrow from a small cutting, if that cutting is planted within a few hours. For the vexwort, that includes being planted in another creature's intestines. It will force its way out, absorbing the victim's body as it goes. Therefore, if done carefully, vexwort can be an effective tool for assassination.
A few thousand years ago, an accidental release of magic by a careless elf had an odd effect on a group of mergansers. Today, instead of wetlands, the descendants of these ducks prefer to nest along the sides of active volcanos. They spent the winter around the Central Archipelago, then migrate north to the Kellingswiggen Mountains for the summer. They seem to have an instinct for finding spots where lava has run recently, but will not be running in the near future, and lay eggs directly on the warm, black rock. Fire ducks are medium gray with vivid red heads. Aside from nesting choice, fire ducks are quite similar to other ducks.
These wolves live in the forests surrounding the Saranta Mountains and the edges of the Kamatkar Savannah. They are cousins to the common gray wolf, but their environment has caused them to adapt a camoflage pattern of pale gray with deep black vertical stripes. Most packs prey on antelop and smaller mammals, but it is not unheard of for infant mayom to be killed by striped wolves. The striped wolf appears prominantly in the arms and flags of Sindraland.
Although extinct on Earth, a few species made it through to the current day on the Zoasfier. About a dozen species are known, ranging in size from that of a goose to that of a condor (wing spans from 3 feet to 8 feet, 1 to 2.4 meters). Mated pairs are territorial. The home range is the south-east tip of the Kellingswiggen Mountains out to the coast of the Northern Lands, thus giving the name to the Pterosaur Peninsula. A particular variety of pterosaur features as supporters on the Nivalla coat-of-arms.
See link to Megalochelys below. A tortoise that lives in the grasslands on the Northern Lands. Further description pending.
See link to Glyptodont below. Lives throughout the Northern Lands south of the Kellingswiggen Mountains. Further description pending.
See link to Diprotodon below. Lives all over the Southern Lands except the desert and highest mountains. Further description pending.
This create is in development. I am considering a few possibilities, including the Elasmotherium and Macrauchenia as linked below. This animal will fill the same niche as bison on earth, on both the Northern and Southern Lands. I'm leaning toward a mega-sized Macrauchenia called the "Long Llama." Stay tuned.
For further information on the inspiration for some of these unique Zoasfier lifeforms, try these Wikipedia articles: