Name: Taravix (aka "Rock Fox")

Category: Pets, Useful

Type: Mammalians

Size: Medium

Region: Underground, Mountains

Rarity: Uncommon; Rare pets

Lifespan: 20-25 years

Appearance

The taravix is an oddly flat creature at around four feet in length but only a foot or two high. Its legs, though long, are multi-jointed and project sideways out of the hip like a spider's so that the creature runs flat to the ground, making it more agile and able to squeeze into smaller cracks in cave or crag walls.

The fur along the taravix's body is extremely long and, if left untended, knots and tangles as it collects dust and debris. By the time they reach five years of age, wild taravix have often developed a hard shell of packed dirt that looks almost like solid rock.

However, if properly groomed from birth, the taravix has the softest fur of any living creature.

Behaviour

Despite having both insectoid and marsupial traits, and despite its unique appearance, the taravix is very much a mammal and, for the most part, acts as such.

Diet: Grubs and worms, beetles and other insects found in cave walls and cracks.

Habitat: They are found on the jagged rock faces of caves and crags, crawling along the surface.

Breeding: Being extremely solitary creatures, they rarely mate, producing one or two offspring throughout their entire lives, if even that. Due to a lack of predators, this slow breeding does not dent the population, but taravix must take great care with their vulnerable young and so the mother keeps a constant vigil over her cub until their shell starts to harden. For this purpose, taravix females have a pouch on the belly in which the cub lives until they mature. Males usually only stay long enough to be sure of conception.

Special Information

Strengths/Abilities:

  • The taravix develops a shell of packed dirt and debris that is nigh impenetrable by the time they reach maturity. This presents them with a great defense and thus few, if any, predators.
  • A subspecies of taravix, living in deep tunnels, has developed the ability to see in the dark. These are often used by specialist hunters to track nocturnal prey, but they cannot be used during the day as they are completely blind in sunlight.

Weaknesses:

  • Soaking in water washes away the taravix's shell, so they instinctively avoid getting wet.
  • The fur on a taravix's legs is short and bristly, preventing the body's shell from extending past the belly and hips. The legs are also quite spindly, so they're a weak spot on the creature.

Uses:

  • Taravix reared in deep tunnels can see in the dark and are used by specialist hunters to track nocturnal prey.
  • Taravix are sold as pets.
  • Taravix fur, once properly cleaned, is weaved into soft fabrics that are particularly sought by mothers for baby clothing.
  • The same fur, if specially treated, can be turned into a particularly strong thread used in heavy duty clothing such as leather armour.

Origin: Where did the creature come from? Did it evolve from another species, was it one of Xanth's experiments, or something else?

Other Info: This is a space to include any further information you feel would be of interest.

Creator: Russ?

Creatures Mammalians Underground Mountains Medium Pets Useful Uncommon Rare pets