Iredjolsith

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"The Land of Mangroves"

The Iredjolsith is a large archipelago in the Northern Hemisphere of Sedes Draconis. It extends from 18° from North (Theâdn Polar Coordinates) down to 15° from North; and from the 101st line in the East to 122nd line in the West

The Iredjolsith is approximately 560,000 km² of dry land, another 640,000 km² of land of intertidal zone low and high tide, and 6.7 million km² of shallow sea around it. The land is mostly split up into many small islands. ((See how this compares to areas on Earth.))

The name "Iredjolsith" is constructed in parallel to the other names of the other continents, the Hajasith and Kellsith, as named by the orcs, though the continent is not actually known to any of the Trade Culture.

Biogeography

When tectonic forces pushed the islands of the Iredjolsith up out of the ocean, something of an evolutionary laboratory was created: a large area of land and shallow waters totally isolated from any continental plants or animals. The region was quickly colonized by corals and, as land levels rose, by mangrove seedlings floating across the seas. The land above the reach of the mangroves was more slowly colonized by mangrove associates, and the scattered uplands by terrestrial rainforest plants.

Four species of mangroves occupy most of the intertidal zone, as well as the ocean floor down to a meter below low tide, and land up to the extent of salt penetration, about 6m up. Thus the mangroves occupy approximately 700,000 km², the top third of that being shared with a number of species of mangrove associate plants.

The vertebrates who colonized the islands were mostly lizards, a few turtles, and the fliers: pterosaurs, birds, and eptenyctans. Very few amphibians, mammals, or non-avian dinosaurs made it, since these animals rarely survive oceanic crossings.

Pterosaurs never established a permanent presence on the Iredjolsith, since the large pterodactylans which reach the archipelago are not suited to the restricted spaces of the mangrove swamps and rain forests. A few species of pterodactylans come to the beaches of some of the outer islands to breed and nest, and leave again.

The birds and the eptenyctans did well among the mangrove swamps which choked the coasts and channels, feeding on crabs, fish, small reptiles, and each other.

In the absence of the terrestrial animals which dominate other continents, those groups which did reach the Iredjolsith diversified into many unique forms there. Notable among these are the Dryopoda, a suborder of terrestrial and semi-terrestrial cephalopods, and the Nesoloriidae, a family of large flightless parrots which includes the Huhuhwiit.

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