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The Desert Crystals – The Journals Biologinary #1

An excerpt from The Journals Biologinary’s accounts of the curious fauna and flora of the Northern Continent.

The Greater Toothed Grundle Bear

The Greater-Toothed Grundle Bear is not a true bear at all. It was mis-named by its discoverer, the renowned aquatic botanist Arthur Hablerstock. Being better versed in the taxonomy of pondweed, Hablerstock saw the rounded ears and lengthy claws and called “bear” both sooner and louder than he ought to have done. Subsequent surveys revealed that the Grundle Bear has a preference for frogs and newts but will stretch to a noisy primate if provoked.

The creature is in its adult form approximately one and a half metre tall when standing on its three hind limbs. The middle limb is an external womb which extrudes from the body when in the third trimester of pregnancy. The wombing limb’s “fist” opens like a hand with a terrible hole in its palm enabling the beast to funnel its three young into a dark hole. During the period of pregnancy, which appears to be a self-willed act (further study required) as no one has yet witnessed the mating ritual of the “bears”, the Grundle Bear collects live frogs and toads and stores them in the nest-hole as a food source for its young.

Their diet is almost exclusively the amphibians that live in the ponds of the Allwright Marshes. It is rare for their hunting grounds to overlap, though younger bears may share very large ponds. It is advisable to avoid the creatures while nursing their young due to the particular savagery of the infants – the Greater Toothed aspect applies solely to the juveniles which they use to spear the still-living frogs that are dumped into their nest-hole. The parent stays as far away from them as possible, but can occasionally be witnessed tossing a newt into the hole. The teeth are lost during adolescence which also sees their single forelimb growing out of the side of the neck and the pronounced mound between their hindlimbs where the wombing limb will appear as needed.

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