The Mantikrite, Capitornis ferox, is a pro-sapient oviraptorosaur native, at the time of colonisation, to India, South East Asia, Europe, parts of Australia and northern Africa. Nowdays, some 50 years later, they have an almost cosmopolitan distribution, largely due to interactions with humans.
The oviraptorosaurs were nearly wiped out in the Eocene, but they made it though the Paleocene–Eocene Thermal Maximum with only one genus, Struthiopsittacus. However, this genus diversified into at least two families in the following Oligocene, the herbivorous Therizinavidae, and the omnivorous to carnivorous Arctornithidae. The latter family radiated throughout the Old World, and filled niched of several carnivores, such as bears, hyenas and even wolves, though most of these lineages are now long extinct. One branch ultimately evolved into the mantikrite, and evolved larger brains. In many ways, they are about as intelligent as an average person, and are able to built primative houses and semi-advanced stone tools, similar to mesolithic hunter gatherers. When humans arrived to this timeline, they got access to advanced electronic technology, which kickstarted a civilisation.
Mantikrites have several very derived features for a dinosaur, namely opposable 'thumbs', a reduced tail, and a considerably larger brain than any other known dinosaur. In addition to the grasping hands possessed by their lineage, they also have grasping feet, like most maniraptors. This can allow them to use their feet as secondary hands. They have a typical parrot-like beak, though their jaw muscles are greately reduced compared to other living arctornithids, and their bite isn't significantly stronger than an average human. In order to function as manipulators efficiently, their arms have become very mobile, and their stance has shifted towards being almost upright, enabling them to be manouverable, and to give them a height advantage. Their arms are also able to articulate in such a way to enable them to throw a spear, at least partly, but not quite as well as a human.
Mantikrites, like all maniraptors, are covered in feathers, only their head and neck are uncovered. Their arm feathers are shorter than other maniraptors. Mantikrites have a very highly developed syrinx, enabling them to talk languages such as English fluently, though they do not naturally speak a true language of their own. As their means of speaking is controlled by their throat muscles and not by their mouth, they can essentially talk with their mouths closed, much to the awe of human observers.
Relationships with HumansEdit
When humans arrived to WitAM, they had little idea of the wonders this timeline had to offer. But after the first truly large city was constructed, known as Concordis (latin for 'united'), and commonly used satellites launched, serious exploration started, and colonies were deployed on every inhabitable continent and any island over 100 km in diameter. Due to their headquarters' relative proximity to Concordis, it wasn't long before encounters between humans and mantikrites started happenning regularly. Due to their advanced speech abilities, they were eventually taught english words, and certain areas of outer Concordis became inhabited by mantikrites.