Species Profile: Wild Animals of Zhop

These are wild animals found on the planet Zhop.

Chirbug

This small bug makes a rapid chirping sound and tends to fly around cleeple’s faces. It’s a pest and a nuisance and nobody likes it. The phrase “wouldn’t hurt a chirbug” typically means someone who wouldn’t hurt someone even if justified. The phrase “wouldn’t steal a chirbug” is nonsensical.

Gaub

Gaubs are smooth-skinned creatures found in caves and dark places. They have long fingers covered with a membrane that allow them to fly by flapping, though there is a type that lost the membrane and instead uses the long digits as grasping tools. They have good hearing with their big pointy ears, though no eyes.

Most types of gaubs grow to an average of a quarter of a meter, with half a meter being the biggest, but some types grow much bigger, even up to two meters tall. The largest types can unhinge their jaws and open their mouths widely, though they mostly eat insects and little reason has been found to open their jaws so widely. Most gaubs have flappy lower appendages unsuitable for anything but flailing to escape from predators.

Gaubs are found all throughout Zhop, from abandoned areas of New Zhopolis to the cold mountains of the southern tip. The average lifespan depends on the type of gaub, but most common gaubs live about twenty years.

Glounus

Fat birds used as a food source on Zhop, most of them are raised in farms. They’re generally covered in brown feathers aside from the bald head and lazy unless excited. Domesticated glounuses are raised too fat to fly, but wild ones are surprisingly quick fliers. The average height is 1 ½ meters tall, and they tend to live for about ten years. Of note is that wild glounuses engage in a mating dance many compare to square dancing.

Hiki

Small brown rodents with busy tails. Found south of New Zhopolis and in the city proper considered as pests, though arkents consider them a delicacy aside from the inedible tail. They’ve also spread to parts of Derantu as an invasive species. Average lifespan is a few years, and they tend to grow to around 8-15 centimeters.

Ilket

Rodents found throughout Zhop and believed to be ancestors to sharls. Considered pests, though arkents eat the larger ones, which grow up to 50 centimeters, and usually have dull brownish fur coloring. These tend to scamper along the ground on four short, fat legs. There is also a much bigger variety that stands at about half a meter tall and has yellow fur—these have no tail and can walk short distances on two feet that are often hidden by a layer o fat. These larger ones are considered fairly intelligent and are often employed as pets by dankoms and other disreputable types.

Ilkets can eat just about anything and have big teeth able to gnaw through quite a lot. They have thin long ears, beady eyes, and a long mouth with a significant chin—their pointed nose is good at smelling, while the large yellow ones have a snout that rises above the eyes almost like an anvil shape. The small ones tend to live not more than two years, but the yellow ones have been known to live at least nine. Those are only found in New Zhopolis, while the smaller ones are found throughout Zhop and have even spread to Derantu and Mintop.

Odge

Who’s a good boy? Odges are domesticated animals used as hunters, guardians, and pets. They have slick, dense fur and a pointed head with a black nose at the end and pointy ears. They have short, floppy appendages and a torso that gradually narrows to a point. They prefer to stay in water, so most owners will have a small pool for them. They’re better at swimming than walking—on land they tend to flop along, which is totally endearing, right? They’ve also got a floppy, panting tongue. Odges live for an average of 16 years, and while they come from Zhop they’ve been taken to Derantu and Mintop as pets as well, though they’re often problematic for the local wildlife.

Phosser

A muscular, four-legged livestock animal, phossers are brown to dark green with a long, thin tail and two long horns extending outward. They have thin, soft fur with a long, fuzzy snout, hooves, and a considerable rump. They were domesticated for use as meat and leather and other products, creating rough, lean meat. A few places, mostly by scalagos, bred them to be ridden on, but it never caught on widely—most species thought it looked ridiculous to ride one. Also ridiculous: some tried to use the horns to steer. It did not go well.

Phosser meat was historically eaten by the lower classes, though certain parts were considered a delicacy, most notably the head. In some places, finding the head of a phosser in one’s bed was considered good luck. They tend to grow up to 2 meters tall, though some are shorter, and they live about twenty years. Small phossers are referred to as ponies. Duth definitely didn’t cause that just for a joke.

Plaben

A pinkish-brown, furless animal that adapted to the cold by learning to build structures of wood. They have long front teeth to chew through wood and wide, flat noses useful for sniffing out wood. They have short arms and legs but can walk on two legs for short distances, and though stubby are weirdly sleek for a chubby creature. They have a long, flat tail with hard, rough skin they use like wobbly hammers to aid in building.

Plabens were raised and domesticated to assist in building throughout Zhop, already having a predisposition to such. With training they’ve been taught to build a variety of structures and are helpful in building out in the wilderness. They’re an average of .4 meters tall and live about 10 years in the wild, though those in captivity can live up to 20. After age 15 they’re not too useful for building, though, and often are killed and the tail used for leather.

Thwibble

Fish found in northern Zhop, thwibbles are born with a silvery-blue coloring that turns reddish-purple when they grow older, though some retain the blue coloring. They’re born thin in freshwater rivers and lakes and then swim to the ocean where they fatten up. When they are ready to reproduce they return to where they were born—so many return at this point they are easy to catch and eat, often by scalagos and fiscets. They tend to grow up to half a meter at this time.

Upon returning to the freshwater lakes the female thwibbles will lay up to ten thousand unfertilized eggs at a time. The males then eat the eggs. The sheer amount of eggs nearly choke the males but allow some eggs to bypass the stomach to an area of the body where they’re fertilized then expelled. The bloated male is then unable to swim and is swept along the water’s current. The eggs are poisonous to other species, however, so catching and eating an immobile, bloated male can be deadly unless the eggs are removed and the body is properly cleaned.

Most thwibbles die upon being swept back to the ocean. An old legend states, however, that those thwibbles who retain their old silvery-blue coloring do not die, but instead undergo a metamorphosis into a sea dragon. There is no scientific evidence for this. All in all a thwibble normally lives about 5 years.

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