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Lights in the Dark, Observations on the Meerus Nocturnus (a lost note from the anthropologist)

Chimmy's picture

I have, in the past dutifully dedicated myself to the categorization and classification of the unique creature known as the Meeroo. Despite all of my research and seemingly endless wondering at the multitude of variety present within this species, never did I expect a discovery the likes of which I discuss in this report.

Recently, a spelunker in south america recounted this experience deep inside a cenote:

“I was a bit ahead of the group, slowly making my way through the cave on a small ledge above the deep pool of the cenote. I had decided to take a moment to stop and listen to the sounds of the cave and enjoy the solitude. I turned off my headlamp and was standing in the darkness when I heard a strange sound and suddenly a light appeared in the cave. The light was just bright enough that I could make out the walls of the cenote and the edge of the water, so without thinking I began to follow the light curious as to what it was. As I approached it, it only seemed to get further away, I continued to follow it for longer than I should have until I heard a splash and watched the light descend into the water of the cenote and disappear. I remembered my headlamp and upon turning it back on realized I had gotten lost in some branch of the cave and had gotten separated from my group. I stumbled back the direction I thought I had come only to realize I didn’t recognize any of the surroundings and couldn’t get my bearings to get back out. It was then that I thought I saw a flash of something in the beam of my light, it was small, about the size of a cat, with large ears, dark colored, parts of it glistening in the headlamp beam. As soon as I saw it, it was gone again, darting off around a corner, I quickly followed it and to my surprise rejoined my group. I later told them about what I had seen and how the strange light had gotten me lost in the cave. They said that shortly before I had come around the corner they had heard the sounds of something splashing in the cenote below.”

The description of the spelunker was enough to arouse my curiosity and send me in search of what I had thought at the time might be a new variant of the Meeroo. I was correct, however what I found was so much more.
Upon reaching the cenote and exploring with a few of my Meeroo companions, I came upon what is the strangest variant of Meeroo I have yet encountered. Bearing many resemblances to the other Meeroo, it was clearly a relative, however its differences were immediately recognizable and clearly called for a change in the definitions of the entire Meeroo species.
The animal was what I have now classified as the Meerus Nocturnus, while classifying the previous species as M. Diurnus. The nocturnus species is in many ways a mirror opposite of its M. Diurnus cousin. A completely nocturnal species, the ‘nocturnals’ as I have come to call them are much more solitary than their daylight counterparts.

They are, for want of a better word, antisocial. Although never displaying aggression, I found that studying and tracking them has been quite difficult as they seem to be disinclined towards any human company. Although they display the trademark signs of the Meeroo: intelligence, curiosity and great variety, this is tempered by what seems to be an initial distrust of humanity and a desire for secrecy and seclusion.

The nocturnals bear structural resemblances: four legs, a tail, and a similar head shape to the M. Diurnus. However this is where the similarities end. I have managed to convince a singular nocturnal that I mean it no harm and have been able to find rudimentary information about its species by studying it. They seem to exhibit both fur, and scales, similar to that of a fish or reptile indicating strangely enough, some degree of aquatic existence.

Naturally being inhabitants of dark places, the nocturnals have made adaptations to it, their eyes seem to be more effective in the dark, leading to a certain aversion to strong light. Perhaps most interestingly, the few nocturnals that I have seen appear to have some sort of inherent bioluminescence, culminating in a curious lamp like ‘lure’ on top of their head. This lure seems to undergo small shifts in luminosity when interacting with other nocturnals, appearing to be some method of communication.
Their diet also, differs from that of the diurnal meeroo. They appear to eat a unique fruit that I have come to call ‘Florofruit’. Florofruit plants seem endemic to low light cavernous environments. Curiously enough it would appear that the nocturnals themselves play a major role in the pollination and spread of this plant by carrying the spores of the florofruit within the brush like fur around their feet much like many insect species.

Convinced as I was that this species was some unique variant of the M. Diurnus, reports have been coming in from multiple locations around the world with sightings of similar descriptions, and after having visited a few, I have come to the conclusion that the M. Nocturnus represents not only a new species within the Meerus family, but a prolific one that for many ages has remained even more well hidden than their diurnal cousins. Why they seem to have chosen now to begin appearing to humans is as much a mystery as anything to do with the nocturnals.
As always I will continue to research the Meeroos and update the community with my findings into this secretive creature.