Non-Sapient Lothalite steppe dog

LouJoVi

SWRP Writer
Joined
Sep 17, 2019
Messages
136
Reaction score
161


Lothalite steppe dog


DESIGNATION

► Non-sentient

PHYLUM
► Vertebrata

CLASS
► Mammalia

GENUS
► Lothocyon

BINOMINAL NAME
Lothocyon ruber

SUBSPECIES
Lothocyon ruber ruber
Lothocyon ruber alpinus

AVERAGE HEIGHT
► 60 cm

AVERAGE LENGTH
► 155 cm

AVERAGE WEIGHT
► 45 Kg

HAIR COLOR
► Bright red (L. r. ruber)
Dark brown (L. r. alpinus)

HOMEWORLD
► Lothal

DIET
► Carnivore

CONSERVATION STATUS
Endangered


Description


The Lothalite steppe dog, also know simply as loth-dog or even as singing dog, is a large sized predator from the plains of Lothal. This species has a wide and massive skull with a well-developed sagittal crest, and its masseter muscles are highly developed. Such characteristic give them the most powerful bites of any other Lothalite animal, with 1,011 pounds of force. It’s enough to crush bones and shells.

The nominotypical subspecies, Lothocyon ruber ruber, have reddish fur, with the brightest hues occurring in winter. In the winter coat, the back is clothed in a saturated rusty-red color with brownish highlights along the top of the head, neck and shoulders. The throat, chest, flanks, and belly and the upper parts of the limbs are less brightly colored, and are more yellowish in tone. The lower parts of the limbs are white. The muzzle and forehead are reddish-gray. The tail is very luxuriant and fluffy, and is mainly of an auburn color, with a dark brown tip. The summer coat is shorter, coarser and less bright.

Lothocyon ruber alpinus subspecies differ from the other due to its fur being completely brown, withthe exception of the under parts that are whitish. In the winter, the fur becomes thicker and reddish tints appear among the brown pelage. While this morphological different is tempting to elevate this subspecies as species, phylogenetic studies using genetic and cromossonical analysis had proved that the two have little differences to support the split.

Taxonomic relationship with the loth-wolf is a matter of great controversy. Scientists believe that the two species originated from the same common ancestor, with the Lothalite steppe dog being a basal species and closer in appearence to what the loth-wolf's ancestor would have looked. However, some spiritual Lothalites refuse to believe that there is any relationship between the two animals. It comes from the fact that, in their opinion, a noble animal like the loth-wolf couldn’t be related to a ravenous creature like the steppe dog, which is considered a plague, killer of cattle and game.

Surprisingly, Force scholars that visited Lothal had reported that loth-wolves and loth-dogs seem to interact with each other. Jedi Master Hod Poulig, who visited the planet during the beginning of the High Republic Era, related that he saw a pack of the two animals interacting briefly, and that the wolves threated the dogs as "little siblings". He also related that steppe dogs were attracted by his use of the Force, watching him intently and being docile in his presence.

Distribution and habitat


The species can be found in all biomes of Lothal, with exception of semi-arid regions. The largests populations are found in steppes and plains.

Behavior and ecology


The loth-dog produce whistles that are used to help in coordinating the pack when travelling through thick grassland. When attacking prey, they emit scream-like barks. They live in clans rather than packs and those can be broken in small groups during the spring, when small numbers are better to hunt young prey. Dominant dogs are hard to identify, as they do not engage in dominance displays, but other clan members will show submissive behaviour toward them. Clans can have 40 individuals and territory is neither marked by urine or feces. They use whistles to demonstrate their dominance over an area, whith the entire clan "singing" in this "chorus". Those that listen to these demonstrations say that it's a beautiful melody. The name singing dog came from this characteristic.

Breeding season starts in late winter, with a clan having more than a breeding female, usually the adult offspring of the dominant pair with their partner. The gestation period lasts 63 days, with litter sizes averaging four to six pups. They give birth inside complex cavernous dens, with several chambers. Each pregnant female will chose a different chamber for themselves. Pups are suckled at least 58 days, with the mothers being feed by the clan during this period, since theey will not leave the den. Once weaning begins, the adults will regurgitate food for the pups. With six months they join the group in their hunts. The lifespan of the species is of 17 years in the wild.

Threats


The natural predator of the the loth-dog is the sabercat, this large predator can kill one of them with a single paw strike. Their clans are smaller in areas with a great density of sabercats due to the felines killing the dogs to steal their prey. Anedoctal reports say that loth-wolves will come to protect clans from sabercats after listenning a very specific distress "singing". Such information was never atested scientifically.

However, the greates threat to the loth-dog are people. Not having the same charisma that the loth-wolf, this species was hunted by Lothalites for centuries. Campaigns of extirpation were made due to them being considered a risk to cattle and people, even if it was never reported that they killed a sentient being. On the contrary, these animals are shy and can become docile when properly treated. Poison, trapping and blasters were used in these campaings. The most cruel practice that was used in killing these animals was to attack dens, dragging females and pups out of it to kill. Then, recordings of distress "singing" of pups would be used to attract the rest of the clan to be cornered and slaughtered under heavy blaster fire. Sometimes dens would be simple exploded with whole clans sleeping inside.

The apparent disappearence of the loth-wolf, seems to be related with a fast declining of the loth-dog's population in recent times. This relation between the decline of the two is still poorly understood by science.

Conservation


During the High Republic era, the Lothalite government had put the Lothal steppe dog in the list of protect species and ended the campaigns of extirpation. This decision is associated with Master Poulig observations of the animal. Unfortunately, some farmers still kill these animals and hunters target them for their beautiful fur.

What is the purpose of this species?


To add a new animal to the fauna of Lothal that can be explored during the roleplay.

 
Last edited:
Top