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Tikedi

Jahrd Ardeana, half-Tarsin, half-Tieke. Artist: Meghan Taylor.

The tikedi (TIK-ah-dee) are an omnivorous, bipedal, mammalian race. They are approximately four feet in height and furry. Each possesses a long tail, a square muzzle, low-set rounded ears, and backwards-jointed hind limbs. They have five digits on each hand of their forelimbs, including opposable thumbs.

Tikedi lay eggs rather than give birth to live young, and their offspring are always born in pairs, although it is not uncommon for only one of each pair to live. Many live their lives without siblings at all, as it is also notoriously difficult for tikedi to successfully conceive, a problem which is exacerbated by their tendencies to mate for life and the fact that they are subject to predation. Their technical ingenuity means that they adapt and thrive within their environments, but their numbers stay low due to such a high mortality and low birth rate.

They are considered adults at age twelve, but are not expected to be fully independent until age sixteen.

There is very little sexual dimorphism present in the tikedi species, although the males do tend to be very slightly larger and possess a ruff of fur around the neck and across the chest, which the females lack.

There are three races, each with its own unique traits, but all share the same basic form. They can, and often do, interbreed.

SubspeciesEdit

The Tarsin are the inhabitants of the northern deserts, and tend towards fur colors in the range of deep browns to sandy blonde and ruddy orange. Their most identifying feature is their exceptionally large ears, which help with heat dissipation. They commonly feature striped tails and ears.

The Tieke tikedi are possibly the most specialized. They live along the coast of Teyka Bay, and have developed into very fast and agile swimmers. Tieke are taller on average than any other tikedi, and lanky, with flat tails that help them steer underwater. Their fur is double-layered, with a waterproof undercoat. Even their coloration is designed for their aquatic lifestyle: the vast majority of Tieke have a white underside and a darker back, with white hair that mimics the whitecaps on waves. They are also the only tikedi race to feature black facial stripes, extending from just under their eyes to down the sides of their muzzles, ending near the nose. Their colors range from light gray to blue to pale green, with a very rare mutation resulting in all white. Common markings include patches or thin stripes, particularly on the face, ears, and ribcage.

The Harangin are from the mountains in the far south. They are shorter and stockier than other tikedi, with short, dense, dark fur that ranges from dark gray and deep navy blue to jet black, and occasionally a very dark brown. Their ears are very short and rounded, and their tails are long and prehensile to aid with climbing and balance.

Half-breedsEdit

The most common interbreeding is between Tarsin and Tieke, as the two subspecies tend to visit and trade between each other's provinces. The resulting offspring rarely take after one parent more than the other, but instead are a mix of traits from both. Classically, they feature the average height and long ears of a Tarsin build, but have the blue and white Tieke coloration. Since they lack the inherent Tieke adaptations, they do not make good swimmers.

Due to their isolationist nature, Harangin only very rarely interbreed with other subspecies, but if they do, it is typically with a Tieke.

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