|Social Structure||Large Herd|
|Homeworld||Ka Min/Natar (Far Home 0811)|
The Batha Beast is found throughout the Distant Fringe and is most commonly seen as a livestock animal. Its meat is considered quite tasty. Occasionally the animal is used to draw vehicles.
Physiology & Ecology
The Batha Beast is a herbivore native to clear terrain on Ka Min, in Far Home Sector, but raised on worlds across the Distant Fringe. It is a vlarge slow grazer. It is a bilateral quadraped classified HBS-T-LN-LN-T: they have a blunt head, a cylindrical torso with thick paired anterior and posterior legs, and a thick muscular tail. The Batha Beast's primary weapon is its solid, muscular body. The body is characterised by a bony interior covered by a dense long-furred pelt, typically a dark brown colour. Interior fluids are blood. The Batha Beast is a clear terrain walker. Based on its Profile (thick, dense, and vlarge) a typical mature adult is about 5m long, weighs around 3700kg and stands 2.5m tall at the shoulder. The Batha Beast is slow: it generally moves at walking pace but can achieve a maximum speed of 40kph for short bursts. The Batha Beast has Endurance 8.
The Batha Beast is a herd animal. In large groups they are calm and passive, enjoying safety in numbers and spending their time grazing. There can be intense competition between individual members of the herd seeking to improve their status, usually signalled by bellowing and ritualised combat. When they are isolated they tend to be panicky and aggressive. Their primary instinct is to flee from danger. If cornered or protecting calves a Batha Beast will stand down a foe, bellowing loudly and making mock charges. If it does attack, it attempts to slam into its opponent in order to knock them over and then trample them. They have a strong musky odour and constantly test their surroundings by licking and sniffing. Batha Beasts are trainable. They are sensitive to high-frequency sounds and can be herded through the use of ultrasonic whistles.
Life Cycle & Reproduction
There are two genders: male (bulls) and female (cows). Bulls guard the herd while cows produce and raise the young. Reproduction is seasonal – cows give birth to calves at around the same time every year and protect them in creches presided over by matriarchs, senior cows whose reproductive fertility has ceased. Calves are able to walk within minutes of birth. A Batha Beast grows rapidly, going from a newborn calf to an independent adolescent in around a year, when it is ejected from the creche to become a member of the herd. It continues to develop and strengthen until it reaches sexual maturity at around 5 years of age. A Batha Beast will typically live for 30–35 years in the wild, though farmed Beasts may live for more than 50 years.
Diet & Trophics
Batha Beasts are grazers and spend much of their time consuming grasses and leaves, though they will happily eat grains, fruits, flowers, food pellets, or other plant-derived foodstuffs. In the wild, herds of Batha Beasts slowly migrate across their native plains in order to avoid exhausting the local flora.
History & Background
Batha Beast flesh is edible by humans; the meat tastes good, with a strong umami flavour. A single animal will yield around 1800kg of meat: the most edible parts are considered to be lean steaks from the neck, which command premium prices. Animals raised for meat are generally slaughtered no later than the onset of maturity. Batha Beast hides are used to make leather and the fur is woven into coarse textiles. They have been farmed since at least 2400AD.
Trained Batha Beasts
Batha Beasts are difficult to train: training may only be attempted with infant animals, and bulls are far more difficult than cows. Generally Batha Beasts are used as pack and draft animals: a ridden Batha Beast is unusual. Trained beasts are for the most part placid and docile, though their temperament and cooperativeness varies with individual creatures. Males are notorious for pursuing females in heat.
They are commonly trained to at least three purposes:
- Pack animal: A Batha Beast can be comfortably loaded with up to 1000kgs and can carry its burden at a speed of around 5kph for up to 8 hours.
- Draft animal: A Batha Beast suitably harnessed to a wagon can pull a load of up to 3500kg for up to 8 hours. Teams of two or more beasts hitched together can pull correspondingly greater loads. A wagon-hitched Batha Beast is capable of a burst of speed (up to 15kph) for around 5 minutes in every hour.
- Riding animal: The Batha Beast can carry a rider and their personal equipment (to a maximum of 1000kg) for up to 8 hours. A ridden Batha Beast is capable of a burst of speed (galloping, at up to 40kph) for around 5 minutes in every hour, or may be trotted (at around 15kph) for up to one hour in two. A Batha Beast's natural instinct is to flee from threats, though a trained animal will stand its ground on command. Batha Beasts are poor jumpers but may clear obstacles of less than half their height, depending on the local gravity. A ridden Batha Beast requires an appropriate saddle and tack. Some may have howdahs mounted on their backs.
See also: Vehicles of the Distant Fringe
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References & Contributors / Sources
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- Author & Contributor: Lord (Marquis) and Master Scout Emeritus Adie Alegoric Stewart of the IISS
- Author & Contributor: Lord (Marquis) and Master of Sophontology Maksim-Smelchak of the Ministry of Science