|Social Structure||Small herd|
The Madlash is a prairie-dwelling grazer native to Argol, an arid world noted for its large herbivores. The species, long considered a nuisance by Argol's farmers, has recently received legal protection from the Argol Council of Nobles.
Physiology & Ecology
A muscular tail with a row of horny spikes running along either side is the Madlash's most prominent feature. It is a thick-set, warm-blooded quadruped with a beaked face, sensitive ears, and a short temper.
Madlashes secrete an oily mucus from their eyes, nostrils, and throat to remove the fine dust the permeates Argol's atmosphere. When they aren't eating they spend most of their time cleaning each other with their long tongues. When the herd is threatened, adults encircle the calves with tails facing outward. Few of Argol's predators will brave this deadly ring. In addition to self-defense and mating functions, the powerful tail is used to dig shallow pits where herd members huddle together for warmth at night. Madlashes also dig for salt and for minerals necessary to grow stout tail spikes.
Madlashes will go to great lengths to keep warm. They sometimes bed down for the night with other herbivore species who tolerate them because their digging exposes edible roots, grubs, minerals, and, occasionally, water. Madlash giddings become bonds during the brief rainy season which also attract other species.
Life Cycle & Reproduction
There are two genders. Madlashes mate with several partners each breeding system. During this time, coloration changes from a tawny brown to slate gray. Herds migrate to rockier nursery grounds, where females battle for a limited number of nursery pits. These spectacular battles, in which females madly lash at one another with their tails, are the origin of the beasts' name. A female will bear one to four young. Lactating mothers will care for any calves that happens to be nearby, not just their own.
Diet & Trophics
No information yet available.
History & Background (Dossier)
Business interests have established herds on several other planets because the creature's oily hide makes an excellent leather.
Unfortunately, the qualities that make the Madlash an attractive companion for other animals lead to humorous and dangerous interactions with human colonists. In addition to destroying crops, Madlashes have been know to cuddle up to the warm vehicle and prairie dwellings with disastrous results. One widely circulated story tells of a scout who chased a warmth-seeking Madlash from his campsite. When he returned from prospecting late in the day, the scout discovered that the offended Madlash had sneaked back to the unguarded camp and demolished his ATV.
Travellers' Aid Society Advisory
No information yet available.
References & Contributors (Sources)
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