Kukuris resemble raptors in many ways, expect that they have developed fur, ears, size and bigger brains. They are an old species and have evolved many subspecies which are all breedable, however many traits of them seem to be more common than the others.
Physical description (Common Kukuri)Average height: back at 5,5ft-7ft (167cm-213cm) , with smallest going to 4,5ft (137cm), and largest to 8ft (243cm).
Average lenght from nose to tailtip: 13-20ft (395cm-610cm)
Average weight: 300lb-450lb (135kg-203kg) with lightest going to 280lb (126kg), and heaviest to 900lb (407kg)
Maturing age: 2-4 years
Average dying age: 30-40 years
Physical description (Prairie Kukuri)Average height: back at 7ft-9ft (213cm-274cm), with smallest going to 6,5ft (198cm), and largest to 9,5ft (289cm).
Average lenght from nose to tailtip: 15-23ft (456cm-700cm)
Average weight: 500lb-1000lb (227kg-453kg) with lightest going to 400lb (180kg), and heaviest to 1200lb (543kg)
The fur which covers the kukuri's entire body is capable of having varied markings and colours - while they used to be more regional or pack-specific, humans domesticating them has made all these traits mingle and even create some new ones. The fur thickness is often region specific - those which live in the mountain areas are known to having larger size and thicker coat, for example.
Huge eyes help them to keep watch and see far ahead, and they are slightly reactive to sunlight. They are very good at seeing motion, but can be rather nearsighted. Their sense of smell isn't that good, and mostly good for determining rotten food from healthy and checking their potential mates out. They have a hearing very close to that of a dog's.
A Kukuri's mouth is as specific as their visualization in general, since the color of the mouth is just as unique as their apprearance in general. While it usually tends to be darker side, it can technically be a color of any spectrum, and the connection with some genes causing brighter colored mouths is not uncommon. They have powerful jaws and a sharp beak for tearing and eating the hardiest of meals.
Every Kukuri has a horn in their head, and it's usually their pride and joy. They use it to fight for mates, courting them and when defending themselves. While they're capable of doing immense damage with their horns, their main job is to wound and scare the other one away.
The shape or size of the horn isn't usually a declaring element when the females are judging the males, the more important part is the battle won. This has allowed many kind of horns evolve and keep their shape to this day.
There is a mutation which might cause a Kukuri to be born without a horn. This usually creates a weak hatchling as it will almost without a fail lose against it's sibling with fights about food, and might even be injured fatally when not being able to protect itself from their attacks. Being hornless usually makes the siblings also turn against it, which increases the risk of fatal injuries. If they were to survive to adulthood, they're often driven away from their pack, become depressed, isolated and have harder time getting a mate.
Their second deadliest weapons are their feet and tail. The strong muscles allow them not only run for many miles before tiring, but also help to pack a bunch if they were to encounter an enemy they would rather not meet face to face.
TerminologyKeep in mind that no-one should be forced to use these, but for those interested or wanting to dwell more into the subject here they are! And if you hear these terms used, you know where they come from.
A group of Kukus: A loaf
A young Kuku: A puppy
Group of Kuku pups/Litter: A bun
Behaviour and ecology
In the wild Kukuris are pack animals with large territories, however the edges of them might overlap. They usually avoid the other packs and unnecessary conflict, but at the mating seasons the fires might start. The pack of Kukuris usually holds 2-5 inviduals where usually no strict alfa, but in situations with more pack members up to 10 the oldest female takes the lead. Kukuris are known to adapt well and fast to new climates, so there's potential to meet them in most climates in the world. However, a Kukuri which is used to cold will always be unhappy in warmth, and vice versa - only next generations start the adapting progress.
Kukuris are known to be able to sprint for a short while at the speed of 70km, and they can keep a steady speed of 50km - this makes them as fast as ostriches. If well trained, they can maintain this speed for hours when traveling without much of an extra weight. However, their immense strength can be utilized so that one trains them to perhaps be slower, but being able to pull carriages behind them.
When it comes to common personality, most of the Kukuris seem to have a very curious nature. When one sees something interesting, it is not uncommon that the whole pack will soon be wondering what's going on. They rarely fear anything new, and their intelligence - while it does vary great deals at times - is usually at the level of an intelligent parrot. However, their curiosity often makes them seem like idiot kittens, but this of course is not true to all of them.
When domesticated, A Kukuri might become overjealous of their handler if not trained against it, especially against the opposite sex of the handler. While this can be bothersome, it also makes Kukuris great bodyguards if needed, and this jealousness can also used to teach them to protect farm animals.
An interesting fact about Kukuris is that while they're generally considered omnivores, it greatly differs what they actually eat. Some are strictly herbivorous, and some carnivorous, and some omnivores. Especially the regular breed tends to mostly lean towards vegetarian diet.
Herbivorous Kukuris often habit the grasslands, mostly living by fruits and berries, and when the food is low on moss and leaves. They might result to meat if the food is especially sparce, like on winter. Likewise the carnivorous hunt either bigger animals in packs, or use their great sprint speed to catch smaller animals alone, and on difficult times might resolve in eating plants too. The fact that is the Kukuri carnivorous or herbivorous is inherited - if the parents are both different, there's a bigger chance that the omnivorous is born.
Kukuris mature at the age from 2 to 4 years old; the females usually later than the males. In the wild the mating is strictly pack-centric or if some male won over the male/s in the pack, but domesticated Kukuris are not that picky about their mates.
A male still has to court the female, and she can deem the male unworthy is she seems it fit. The males usually do little dances, show off their horn, cuddle with the female and some can bring killed prey animals to her. If she isn't pleased, she may attack the male, which might get dangerous if the male doesn't realize to back away.
The parents take both part in building nest after the mating. Kukuris tend to be very open to ideas when building, using anything in their environment to their advantage. Nests out of rocks, grass, sticks and feathers is the most common, but it's not rare to find bones and old forgotten children toys in there too, for example.
A Kukuri usually lays a clutch of 1-3 eggs, in rare cases 4. In especially rare cases there has been 5, but it puts the female in critical condition and rarely results in healthy hatchlings. There is also a huge chance of death in these cases, and it usually occurs if the Kukuris have inbred.
The eggs are oval shape and black in color. The average size for these eggs is 15cmx20cm, with the weight of 1,5kg to 2kg.
The brooding period takes 50 days on average. Their brooding behaviour have been linked to their diet, carnivores both tend to equally brood the eggs and switch places letting other one hunt, while omnivores and herbivores usually leave the job to the sire and the mother only broods sometimes. In a pack of Kukuris it's not rare for others to help widowed Kuku, but if they're left completely alone without the help of other Kukus or their handlers the eggs are likely to die.
When born a Kukuri is roughly the size of a housecat, but starts rapidly growing ever since. They are born with small nubby horns, and very little fur to protect them. Their markings are usually visible or lightly faded. At 2 months of age they usually start wandering out of the nest, but they are dependant on their parents up until roughly 2,5 years old - some tend to mature faster, while some are slow bloomers. At the age of 1 the parents, if omnivores or carnivores, start training their pups to hunt. It's usually easy to predict in captivity, since the parents start to bring their meals over to their pups more and more, and instead of eating it just swing it around for the pups to catch. As a handler this is important stage to keep a watch for, since especially carnivorous Kukus should also learn the difference of what to hunt and what not to as soon as possible.