17. The Darnuné
Few even know of the existence of the Darnuné. Dwelling only in a few high mountain top jungles, the Darnuné are the result of divine intervention. A tribe of primitive humans begged their gods to save them from an erupting volcano. Their sky-goddess, a feathered serpent, swooped down and brought them to safety on the mountains. She blessed the tribe with traits of her own likeness, and forbade them to wander out of their new home. Generations later, they stay obedient to their word. Darnuné are covered with a layer of fine feathers with bright plumage in greens, reds, blues, and yellows. They are tall and thin-boned, and prefer to keep their nails long and sharp. Their faces superficially appear beak-like, with aquiline noses and weak chins, and their eyes are large and inquisitive. The backs of the arms enjoy a much thicker layer of feathers than the rest of the body; though not true wings, they can ease the descent of a falling Darnuné. They are critically endangered, with only a few scattered villages worldwide. Because of their deeply held religious beliefs, they rarely copulate, resulting in a low birth rate. With their shortened lifespan of about 50 years, their numbers are dwindling rapidly.