Notice the hair. Long, ropy and rather unkempt, dantox rely on this natty mess for protection not just from the long, bitterly cold nights, but protection from predators as well. Even the large saber teeth of a jungle panther cannot penetrate it. Very thick and snarly, it often contains broken twigs, leaves and most anything else the creature rubs against in it's jungle foragings. It's common for moss to grow in the plates. As you can imagine, this mess is rather useful for camouflage, the mosses helping to mask the animal's scent from predators.
This fellow happens to be a mature male--you can tell by the color of the legs and lighter markings on it's back. Females and young have dark green or brown colored legs. Young males are totally green pelted.
At first the legs seem rather thin, but the true mass of the beast is much less than it appears. It really is mostly hair.
Notice the 'feet'. Three digits can come together like one solid foot or spread outwards for balance. Each digit ends in a short, hooked hoof. This way, the animal can traverse uneven terrain with ease, griping iced-over ground tranks without fear of slipping and breaking a leg.
Notes to the hunter,
Dantox meat is rather bland, but very filling. The jerky is a standard travel ration, the steaks a staple at taverns and inns--once it has been well seasoned.
After a LOT of cleaning, the beast's undercoat is like soft, thick wool. Trimmed to even, the hides make excellent cold-weather coats and apparel.
Two quick notes about these images. The creation of the draz world was a long, engaging process, and over the course of time, some of these creatures "evolved" for me. The drawings included here are for the most part my original concepts. If you see some of them differently in your mind's eye that's perfectly fine, I do the same. However, because these are the 'originals' I feel they deserve a place here.
The second thing I wish to say is that most of the 'original' originals are simple pencil sketches with scribbled notations all about. The coloration is recent using the pc. If people tell me they are interested in the pencils, I'll show them here too. Thank you & enjoy! ~ Melissa
Ransoo:a tiny, winged gazelle-like creatures.
Rarely seen, these delicate animals live high in the jungle draz vines. Timid yet playful, they are rarely seen.
Key features are the feathered wings--notice the muscular 'hump' between the shoulders they sprout from. Despite the wings, ransoo are not capable of true flight, though they can indeed hover for brief periods. The wings are actually used to extend height and distance when the animal leaps, adding force to upward springs and distances by way of gliding. Wings can also be folded about the animal to contain body heat, and in harsh times, whole flocks will overlap each other for shared warmth.
Ransoo flocks are small, usually five to eight total, ranging in ages. Flocks consist of both males and females. Ransoo stand under two-thirds of a meter tall at the shoulders.
Another interesting feature is coloration. Ransoo are territorial, living one flock to a vine. Grazing upon the younger leaf and trank shoots, over time, their pelt and feather colors tint to match their home, aiding in a natural camouflage.