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Crested Western/Night Pad_old by Dragimal Crested Western/Night Pad_old by Dragimal
Name- Crested Western Dragon (human)/Night Pad (dragon)-
Species structure- Collectively called a pack, this species has a strong sense of family and usually sticks together. They have little structure other than the fact that they tend to stick together. No specific pack member has any greater authority than another, which does not pose a problem, as they generally have a pack-wide consensus to reach any large decisions. Individuals are welcome to stay with the pack, or leave (whether to migrate, start a new pack with a mate, or live alone). There is no need for a specific healing member, as individuals tend to teach their young healing techniques very early on and consider it primary knowledge for their young.
Temperament- Generally a calm, docile, and intelligent species, though individual personalities can always vary from this. Generally have close bonds with nature and other animals. Mostly nocturnal. Hardly territorial, if at all, so are fairly welcome to other creatures (unless said creatures are destroying their homes/land, then they get defensive).
Belief system- Nature-based; centered around Self [link] . Lacks any specific name for Self like some species, and the spiritual deities that some human cultures have. One of the least complex belief systems to understand of any species. This species tends to be powerfully empathetic, and are well-known for their calming influence on emotions.
Height (from shoulder)- males~ 7', females~ 6'
Height (from head)- males~ 14', females~ 12'
Length (head to tail)- males~ 60', females~ 51'
Wingspan- males~ 42', females~ 36'
Diet- Herbivore diet that depends on the environment they are in.
Habitat- In theory, any part of nature, as they are very adaptable creatures. Though, the species is more adept for colder climates, thick vegetation/trees, and water. Places where they are usually found are temperate forests, and higher-elevation pine forests. Some can also be found in the plains, but it isn't the most common. A general rule is that they MUST live near some large source of water, as they not only need it for obvious sustenance, but have an almost insatiable craving to be around or in water somehow. Freshwater (rivers, lakes) seem to be more common, but some can be found in the ocean as well, usually near deltas and river openings. Usually sleep wherever they deem comfortable at the time. Usually in trees somehow, curled around a large tree, or across the branches of interlocking trees. If not, then curled up in/under something (log, ditch, small cave), or even in a similar place in a body of water (underwater cave, in a large clump of underwater plants).
Speed- males~ 55 mph, females~ 50 mph (varies slightly in land, air and water)
Strength- males~ 400 lbs, females~ 350 lbs
Senses- sight~ slit-pupil, excellent night-vision, but both nocturnal and daylight vision are incredibly strong (a second eyelid helps with underwater/high altitude vision); hearing~ large ears are very sensitive to sounds, and are also highly efficient; touch~ sensitive pads (their paws are important structures for sensing their environment and for expressing themselves), frills (in open air, the frills are only useful for display, but in the water, are very sensitive to displacement in the water and help with navigation), and gills (extremely delicate and sensitive to touch, and can cause pain if done so harshly), but otherwise a fairly average range; smell~ about average in comparison to other dragons; taste~ actually extremely poor (to the point that they can barely taste anything unless they are outright smelling it). Bright/flashing lights, and loud/disorienting sounds are the most disorienting to a Crested's senses.
Appearance- Long, ferret-like bodies. Gills on throat, just under the jawline. Long, prehensile tail, starting thick and slimming to a small end. All paws have four toes and a thumb, and can nimbly manipulate objects (writing, drawing, etc.), hind paws are slightly limited in manipulation. Large, thick-skinned wings with three fingers and two thumbs. All toes have small, semi-sharp claws, and wing thumbs have longer sharper claws. Full-palm pads on all paws, and small pads on wing fingers, thumbs, and palm (colors range from black, to grey, to dark brown). The skin-flap of the wings ends just past the rump and onto the base of the tail (NOTE- not well shown in the pic, but I don't feel like editing it at the moment). Digitigrade hind legs, and flat-palmed (that is not an actual term, so don't quote me on it) front legs; all slightly short compared to body. Long, flat, slightly rough tongue. Large, slit-pupil eyes. Deer-like grinding teeth and incisors, and small, blunt premolars in a long, slender, gently curved skull. Mostly outward-facing eyes; only slightly forward-facing. Covered in fur, NOT hair. Frills are made of soft, stretchy cartilage covered in a thin layer of fur (they can come in shapes ranging from pointed to round, and any number of "spikes" can be found on an individual; forward-facing spikes generally come in packs from one to three on the forehead, or are not present at all; it is not completely uncommon to find some curled spikes because of natural chromosomal mutations). Packs that stay in one area for many generations adapt attributes suited for the area (examples~ temperate forest- darker red/brown/black/grey fur, long claws, longer toes, more flexible; aquatic (marine; photic zone)- grey/slight blue tinged fur, small skin flaps between toes, wide paws, smaller ears, larger wings, larger gills, etc.). Packs that migrate through generations or have a diverse family tree can have extremely varied attributes (their coat variations, for example, are as diverse in range as in cats). While some may have lighter fur colors, individuals generally have dark fur colors.
Females- Jays, slightly more lithe than males, and fur is less thick.
Males- Johns, thicker than females, more pronounced muzzle, thicker fur, larger frills (sometimes, even, with addition of frills to other places such as the wing shoulder and jaw, but not always).
Mating- Individuals do have specific mates. Mates are incredibly close, and show a special bond with one another. Though, given their behavior, Cresteds have been classified as being polyamorous, since they are incredibly affectionate to pack members, and have even shown to be sexually active with other members of their pack that aren't their direct mates. Though, even individuals that aren't as openly active in this behavior are seemingly perfectly content with their mates taking part in it, showing an incredible amount of trust. It is not completely unheard of for any individual to have more than one mate, but it is not a regular occurrence. Individuals can become sexually active as early as age 15, but rarely start so early. Individuals usually wait a year or so after maturity to find a mate. During that year, young males court young females with short "dances", or rituals, if you will, of flaring frills, twisting bodies, and gentle purrs. Eventually, the female chooses a mate, and the two are bonded. Mating occurs about every 15-18 years between mates, depending on when a couple's previous kit reaches maturity. Though, it is not completely uncommon to have a kit before the previous has matured.
Embryonic growth- Gestation period lasts about 10 months, while another two months of incubation is required for the egg litter. Litters usually consist of one egg, sometimes two (it is very rare to find three eggs in one litter). While the male is extremely protective of the female during the months of her gestation (and rightly so, since the last few months of gestation leave her very weak and vulnerable), after the eggs are laid, both the female and male take equal responsibility in caring for the eggs and/or providing food/protection (after the female takes a well-deserved rest, of course).
Hatchlings- Kits, hatch out of eggs, but drink the mother's milk. Gills do not start to fully develop until 2 years old (so eggs cannot be laid in water). Here also, the female and male take equal responsibility in raising the kit.
Eggs- General "egg" shape. Solid, darker colors such as brown and black.
Lifespan- 125-150 years.
Language- Consists of purrs, ferret-like clicks/growls, tiger-like "chuffs" (though, many individuals show an uncanny knowledge of near-all other animal languages -human language excluded-, and it is likely their close bond with nature that allows them opportunities to learn such languages).
Other communication- The touch of one snout to another is the most common and general form of greeting and mutual trust. Display of/touching of the paws is a slightly more intimate show of trust (as their paws are both important and sensitive structures), but could also be displayed to anyone, and is important for bonding, so it is also often displayed (paw display would be answered with grasping/sliding of the paws, or a rubbing of the snout against the paws). The display of the throat is an extreme sign of trust, as the throat is not only an obvious vulnerable spot, but the gills are incredibly sensitive and delicate structures on a Crested (they can die from injuries to JUST their gills), and any form of touching around that area is a show of incredible bonding and emotion, so is generally reserved for mates and VERY close friends/family members (throat display would be answered with a GENTLE rubbing of the snout against the throat and gills). Frill-nipping/licking is a calming mechanism, and is displayed when a Crested is under extreme distress/agitation, or to just show affection in an already calm situation.
Human communication- For a display of the snout, humans would touch the back of their hand to the snout. For a display of the paws, humans would touch the inside of their own hand to the palm. A display of the gills would be incredibly rare and probably wouldn't happen, but if it did, humans would GENTLY stroke the gills with their palm with the direction of the fur. Humans would rub the frill of the Crested if under distress (nearer the base for a faster effect), or if in some calm position to do so.
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June 3, 2012
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