|Average height||Up to three feet|
(the tail extends up to 4 yards when fully inflated)
|Place of origin||Hy-yi-yi Islands|
|Locomotion||Nasarium constitutes of four powerful limbs|
|Subspecies||Greater Nasobeme (Nasobema lyricum)|
Bluenosed Nasobeme (Nasobema aeolus)
3 other species (unnamed)
|Related species||Small Nasobeme (Stella matutina)|
Predatory Nasobeme (Tyrannonasus imperator)
|Behind the Scenes|
|Created by||Gerolf Steiner (a.k.a. "Harald Stümpke")|
(inspired by the work of Christian Morgenstern)
|“|| Auf seinen Nasen schreitet|
einher das Nasobēm,
von seinem Kind begleitet.
Es steht noch nicht im Brehm.
Es steht noch nicht im Meyer.
Und auch im Brockhaus nicht.
Es trat aus meiner Leyer
zum ersten Mal ans Licht.
Auf seinen Nasen schreitet
(wie schon gesagt) seitdem,
von seinem Kind begleitet,
einher das Nasobēm.
— Christian Morgenstern, Nasobēm, 1905.
The Nasobeme (Nasobema lyricum), known by the natives as honatata, is the most representative species of the oddball mammal order known as Snouters or Rhinogrades, native to the recently destroyed Hy-yi-yi islands in the Pacific Ocean. Its earliest known mention in European literature comes from a 1905 poem by Christian Morgenstern. A more detailed view of this and other rhinograde species can be found in the 1957 book Bau und Leben der Rhinogradentia, by Harald Stümpke.
The Nasobeme is a small-sized mammal with two pairs of long, tentacle-like noses (an organ known as nasarium) protruding from its face; which are used for locomotion. As such, its hind legs are deeply atrophied, whilst the slender arms and boneless tail have all became long and dexterous, used for manipulation and communication purposes.
The Nasobeme's four snouts are controlled by extremely complex nasal musculature. Since the noses are used for walking, the creature's tear ducts have expanded and taken up the respiratory function from the nostrils. Newborn Nasobemes are carried around in a marsupial-like pouch placed near the adult's throat.
The noses of the Nasobeme are rendered suitable for walking by two structural adaptations: the great torpor generated by the corpora spongiosa, which makes it rigid and durable; and the highly developed internal air passages which create a sophisticated pneumatic system, giving it flexibility and resilience.
The tail is almost as weird and developed as the noses: it is an extendable, hollow structure with a high degree of mobility and flexibility, and is used for gathering fruits from trees and high bushes. The tail is inflated or deflated by gases produced by the animal's digestive metabolism, which can be drawn in or out of the tail's internal cavity: this system allows for mobility while at the same time reducing the weight of the tail. As it turns out, the Nasobeme's tail is also prehensile and can be used to grab branches and swing over obstacles or away from predators.
The Nasobeme is a small, gregarious herbivore and possesses keen senses. Its large black eyes might be suitable for night vision, although the species appears to be mostly diurnal.
Nasobemes live in groups and are usually docile and unafraid of humans, as their only natural predators are the related predatory snouters of the Tyrannonasus genus. Nasobemes are monogamous and bear one single offspring per year. They are also fairly intelligent, capable of insight and reflection.
Evolution and Phylogeny
Nasobemes belong to the Polyrrhine (multi-snouted) group of Snouters, which diverged from the single-snouted lineage back during the Cretaceous period. As early snouters were all insectivorous, as are most extant species, it is believed that the Nasobeme evolved frugivorous habits secondarily.
Before the destruction of the Hy-yi-yi islands there were five recognized species in the Nasobeme genus; including the Greater Nasobeme (Nasobema lyricum) and the briefly mentioned Bluenosed Nasobeme (Nasobema aeolus). Additionally, there are two related species: the Small Nasobemes (Stella matutina), which are distinguished from other Nasobemes by their small size and muscular mechanisms of the tail; and the deadly Predatory Nasobeme (Tyrannonasus imperator) which evolved from frugivorous to carnivorous and now preys on its fellow nose-walkers.
- The Nasobeme, by Christian Morgenstern
- Form and life of the Rhinogradentia, by Gerolf Steiner (as "Harald Stümpke")