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An SCP-4445-EX skull.

Item #: SCP-4445-EX

Object Class: Explained

Special Containment Procedures: SCP-4445-EX's habitat has been declared a conservation zone through appropriate Foundation fronts. Teams are to monitor SCP-4445-EX's population and keep civilians away.

Description: SCP-4445-EX are quadrupedal vertebrates similar in structure to members of the clade Thyreophora.

Instances of SCP-4445-EX possess thick, segmented skin over a layer of calcite scales, similar to the skin of caecilians and other amphibians, and are usually bright green, blue, or purple in color. The creatures are able to partially breathe through their skin whether submerged in water or on land.

The heads of SCP-4445-EX are small for their body size, and contain two small eyes, a bifurcated tongue, and a polyp-shaped mass of sensory tentacles emerging from the upper snout. This organ detects vibrations and infrared light.

SCP-4445-EX's back is colonized by 17-22 bright green symbiotic, cuttlefish-like organisms that are fused to its body and share its bloodstream. These organisms are flattened into a triangular shape, and help sustain SCP-4445-EX through a combination of photosynthesis and nitrogen fixing. In return, SCP-4445-EX feeds mainly on soil and river plants, providing necessary minerals to the symbiotes.

SCP-4445-EX and its symbiotes share a nervous system, and the chromatophores in the symbiotes allow for brief color changes depending on SCP-4445-EX's condition, including when it is startled (flashing white), territorial (magenta), or asleep (aquamarine).

The mating season for SCP-4445-EX lasts approximately two months, from mid-August to mid-October. During this period, male SCP-4445-EX instances' tongues will engorge and quadruple in size. Males use their tongues to dig through the soil and riverbeds searching for specific rocks. Next, male instances will use their spiked tails to dig roughly circular ditches and line them with their chosen rocks, then lie down in the center of their circles. Female SCP-4445-EX instances will seek out a male with a suitable rock circle; once one is selected, the female will slowly walk around the circle, eating the rocks as she walks. Once she has completed a revolution, the female will call to the male and flash its symbiotes indigo, at which point the male will extend its tongue toward the female and insert it fully into her mouth.

After 5-6 months, the female SCP-4445-EX will lay a clutch of small, elongated eggs that hatch within a few weeks. Juvenile SCP-4445-EX instances lack back symbiotes; their mothers therefore regurgitate small symbiote eggs to the young upon hatching. The eggs migrate to the young SCP-4445-EX's back upon consumption, where they hatch. Once hatched, the symbiotes fuse to the instance and grow steadily as it ages.

Several herds of SCP-4445-EX were discovered and classified as an SCP during an exploration mission in the New Guinea Highlands, where a long-hidden canyon system and river had been exposed. Since then, eight other subspecies of SCP-4445-EX have been discovered.

Study and dissection of SCP-4445-EX instances from different subspecies shows that their skeletons are identical to various species of stegosaur fossils, including Stegosaurus, Wuerhosaurus, and Hesperosaurus.

Following this discovery, usage of various anomalous objects was requisitioned by MTF Phi-2 ("Clever Girls") and granted in an attempt to view stegosaurs during their original timeline, resurrect stegosaurs from fossils, or recreate stegosaurs from DNA sources. All attempts resulted in SCP-4445-EX.

"It's the weirdest thing. I spent twenty years studying fossils, learning how to try to put the bones together right, and I'm just absolutely blindsided by these things and how perfectly they fit the fossil record. You'd never expect that stegosaurs looked like this."

- Dr. Karina Barrera, Lead Paleontologist

In 2007, a joint Zoology/Paleontology Departments research team determined that no part of SCP-4445-EX was anomalous, and that their physiology and symbiosis could be explained through existing evolutionary theory.

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