(The following is a clipping from the November/December edition of the Tomorrow's Science magazine)
You never find them in packs, but the masses are out there, watching. According to the most recent information, sixty-two thousand eyes of the newly evolved lizard watch the dry land of Ibuana. Only created almost sixty-years ago, the new species of lizard has been found to have abilities never seen before in animals. The animal, the harp lizard, is a rare gem in the treasure trove of reptiles in the Middle Ebysisan area.
When Doctor John Akrely was asked about the harp lizard, or Braitus Gerrium, he immediately dove into their growth and development cycle. John, a professor of animal studies in Veno Ratee University, described the process of life and death for the harp lizards of Ibuana. "Ibuana, for reasons unknown, has possessed a strangely high rating on the Geiger counter, and we can tell that these levels or radiation definitely contribute to the wide range and fast evolution of plants and animals in the area. The harp lizard is a thin lizard, evolving most liking from the Petrosaurus. The harp lizard species was discovered fifty years ago during the pilgrimage to Ibuana, but not much was known about the creatures at the time. A group of ten was discovered by an immigrant family from Brackishgarth, bathing on the hot rocks in the desert. The lizard has no need for a sex life, as its body parts take care of all reproduction. It asexually reproduces, copying a bit more than its DNA.
The harp lizard is able to regrow almost every body part it has, quickly repairing missing limbs or organs on a cellar level at fast paces. Though this process of healing does take a toll on the energy the lizard has and overall metabolism, it is done within a few hours. The method of regrowing these body parts is actually the harp lizard's fast rate of anabolism, construction basic body parts through organic compounds, mostly from a vault of fat the harp lizard stores to use for re-purposing if such an event may occur. The head, brain in particular, is the only piece the lizard cannot regrow." When a harp lizard is severed into two pieces, each piece regrows into their own lizard, creating two lizards from one. This--though contrary to popular belief--does not mean that harp lizards are suicidal or rush into danger so that they can reproduce. A harp lizard prefers to live its life and not reproduce until it must, at which point it will very precisely, almost surgically, run into a saguaro or cactus.
Because the harp lizard asexually reproduces, none of the genetic code of animal changes from offspring to offspring. Every harp lizard is not unique, and even scars and wounds do not last on the creature's body for more than an hour. People who have harp lizards usually paint them to distinguish which are which. Vince Eames Cleave, director and supervisor for the show The Ungodly Hour wrote and directed an episode of his famous franchise about harp lizard-human mutants, and heavily researched the species before starting the episode, to have complete assurance about how the species worked and operated. "It's kind of scary how similar each lizard is to the next. The never change color, develop or grow throughout its life, evolve, or create families. The harp lizards serve a life of solitude and clonage. Is that not a word? It is now. The harp lizards only evolved once and should only evolve once-during the creation of their species. Some predict a banded rock lizard came in contact with a toxic and strange chemical and became a new species. That banded rock lizard's appearance has not changed, only been replicated thousandfold. Scientists working for both medical and food companies have studied a hundred harp lizards, and we have seen each has the same markings, markings which are similar to the banded rock lizard."
The harp lizards are not always at a state of homeostasis. They are cold-blooded creatures and seek to bathe in the sun's rays, increasing their body temperature and metabolism. When attacked or injured, the harp lizards exit what was previously homeostasis and focus their energy or developing their missing parts, weakening the immune system, as well as the ability to survive at cold temperatures. Harp lizards respond to cold temperatures harshly and they tend to avoid shadowed or dark areas, as it drops their body temperature quickly.
Harp lizard is a common food in Ibuana, particularly in the large cities. Because of the regrowing limbs of the harp lizards, people have open pens of harp lizards, where they feed them a mixture of sorghum and insects (their common meal outside of captivity as well). Then, at the end of every week, two of the legs of each harp lizard is severed, roasted with garlic powder, and served on a stick in the markets. One leg is not enough for a meal, but four or five suffice. People can basically farm the creatures, destroying up to 3/4s of the lizard's body and still have the lizard at the end of the week. At times, this has been a controversial issue. Is sending hundreds of lizards through weekly torture humane? Shouldn't they be put out of their misery and not be subject to this? Citizens of Ibuana disagree, saying that without a food source they might starve. And with venders not having a reliable product to sell, they might turn to darker forms of getting money. In the end the animals are declared just that, animals, and the process is repeated. Others, most strictly religious, despise the harp lizard, as they believe the harp lizard came to be from eating the plants in the wake of the ebony demon Dyjb, and therefore are tainted with his mark. Those who think this are a small minority, though some make a fuss about it. The streets of Zarcarzed are constantly full of children playing with harp lizards, and next to the highways through the desert are harp lizards laying on rocks. The harp lizard continues to be, by professors, venders, immigrants, farmers and directors, a mysterious and strange organism.