by Max Barry

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by The Sovereign Kingdom of Ilthenia. . 3 reads.

The Ilthenese Race.

Ilthenese are amphibious, reptilian humanoids that primarily live in humid swamps, coastlines, and near lakes and rivers. Although the true name of their race is "Calameri", they are recognized internationally as "Ilthenese" due to the name of their nation.

A Calameri Male (credit goes to Ryochang2)

Standing at a height averaging from 1.52m to 1.65m (5'2"-5'5") for adults, these bipedal humanoids possess a rather human-like anatomy, with 2 upper and lower limbs, and digitized hands and feet. Calameri have 4 digits on their hands and feet. Their feet are wide and round, allowing them to support their average weight of 43.1-49.9 kilograms (95-110lbs) on land. Each digit is slightly webbed, and has a thicker appearance than that of a human's. In addition, Calameri have thin, but exceptionally sharp claws at the end of each digit, hands and feet, which were originally used to catch and kill their main source of food.

Calameri are carnivorous, hosting a horrifying pair of large, tooth-like plates within their mouths, which act similar to a beak, this "beak" has a point at the center, and is incredibly sharp, being that it has evolved as a way to bite through tough skin, scales, and the hard shells of crustaceans. A Calameri in the wild would often prey on tough skinned or shelled animals, such as crabs, snails, and crocodiles, and as such require their "beak" to pierce and slice through tough food. If they are ever in danger, a Calameri can voluntarily vomit their stomach contents in a pressurized stream, drenching an attacker in a pungent fluid. Calameri have a slow running speed when they are on two legs, to bypass this, Calameri can run on all four limbs for short periods of time. Calameri have a bite force of roughly 230psi, over 3x that of a human.

Calameri are, as stated before, cold blooded, which means that they regulate their temperature externally. This is done through their mantle, a cape-like membrane attached to their tail, back, and shoulders, which can be folded in on itself when not in use. The exterior is entirely black, allowing Calameri to absorb sunlight to warm up. The mantle also serves to aid in swimming, by providing a means to produce thrust by rapidly opening and closing it. Located on the interior part of the mantle are bioluminescent cells, arranged in a wave pattern across the entire area, and running down the mantle's "spines". These can be activated at any time, and can produce light in various patterns and colors. This is used by Calameri to hypnotize prey, blind or dazzle predators, and to attract mates.

The rest of their body, however, is mostly white or gray, with patches of blues, purples, and reds on their bodies, primarily their face and head. However, this colorful luster often degrades as an Calameri's skin dries, turning into a sickening tan color until a time when they can re-hydrate themselves, indeed, a Calameri is highly susceptible to dehydration, and produces hydrophilic mucus to remain hydrated. This mucus also serves an ulterior purpose, as located just at the base of their tails are glands that produce a fragrant fluid, this mixes with the mucus nearby, forming a sticky musk, which they use to mark their homes with their scent. A Calameri's scent is wholly unique to the individual, and Calameri use this as a form of recognition among themselves.

Calameri are entirely hairless, but possess a crown-like structure on their heads, which served as a method of detection in the murky depths of underwater areas via electroreception. This is entirely useless on land, but extremely effective underwater. Ilthenese have exceptionally poor eyesight on land, relying on their sense of smell, hearing, and touch to navigate, which they do via a set of long whiskers on their face, which are highly sensitive to touch. The "crown" of a Calameri also serves the purpose of protecting the brain from harm, being made from hardened, rock-like scales, as Calameri have fairly weak bones in comparison to humans. As a result of this weak skeletal system, Ilthenese, while as strong as the average human, have trouble lifting heavy objects, and are not able to jump from high spots, as it is essentially guaranteed that they'll end up with a broken bone. This fragility is staved by a Calameri's incredible ability to heal, as, like some reptiles, they can regrow and regenerate lost limbs.

Being aquatic in nature, Calameri are excellent swimmers, using a mixture of precise limb movements, as well as the movement of their Mantles to swim at speeds far exceeding a human. In addition, Calameri have six gills on their heads, 2 on each cheek, and 2 on the sides of their head behind their jaw. This allows Calameri to breath both air and water. However, being built more for ambush than pursuit predation, Calameri are more prone to exhaustion than humans. Calameri do not have a nose, instead, their gills act as nostrils, having olfactory sensors lining the interior and exterior of their gills, giving them their whitish hue. This grants Calameri an unprecedented ability to smell in nearly every direction.

Calameri often live for 95-110 years, and show little signs of aging during that time, they reproduce through internal fertilization of eggs, in which the female will lay up to 3 at a time after a gestation period of 45 days, these eggs are about the size of a human fist, and are opaque and leathery in texture. Calameri offspring, after hatching after a period of 24 weeks, appear as miniature versions of the adult, and quickly grow over the course of, and reach their full size at the age of 17 years, where they reach sexual maturity at a much later age of 19 years. Calameri are considered adults by the age of 24

The gender of the Calameri upon hatching is determined by the temperature of their environment, wherein temperatures above 28.3 Degrees C (83 Degrees F) will yield males, whilst anything at or below said temperature will yield females. Calameri genders look very similar to one another, with little differences between the two. Generally, however, females will be larger than males, and will usually carry darker toned colors than males. The color of their whiskers when they are glowing can also determine an Calameri's gender, as females will have bright blue whiskers, whilst males will have bright red whiskers.