These large creatures have a front half with the appearance of an eagle, complete with wings and talons, and a back half that looks like a horse. The head has some features that look like one or the other but most distinctly an eagle with a beak.
Genetics and Reproduction
In the wild they are reclusive, choosing to only be around their mate as they mate for life. Hippogriffs give birth to live young after a gestation period of eleven months. Most commonly they give birth to one foal but in rare cases twins can occur. The mated pair raise the foal together as a unit until the young hippogriff reaches maturity at the age of two after which it leaves its parents' nest to find a mate and make a nest of its own.
Growth Rate & Stages
The hippogriff reaches maturity at two years old. It is fully grown after the first year but still relies heavily on its parents as it doesn't leave the nest during that first year except for some quick flying lessons. During the second year, the musculature needed for longer flights is developed and the parents teach the young how to hunt live prey.
Ecology and Habitats
Hippogriffs are surprisingly adaptable, having nests in mountain ranges, hilly areas or flat grasslands. They can live in a large range of temperatures but gravitate toward temperate climates in the wild.
Dietary Needs and Habits
They are omnivores and while they can subside on a mostly meat diet and eat few plants and vice versa, they are at optimal health when getting a good balance of both. Hunting hippogriffs are much like eagles, choosing to soar up in the sky and spot their prey before descending upon it with sharp talons at the ready. They eat a variety of greens; such as grass, leaves, fruits and berries, and roots.
When taken from their parents during their first year, hippogriffs are fairly easy to train and become loyal mounts. In most areas of the world this is the way to acquire a hippogriff as a mount, but in Euhukoa Empire there are generations of domesticated hippogriffs. This version of domesticated hippogriffs have been raised and trained to be able to live in close proximity to others of their own kind rather than just their mates. Breeders will sometimes have to travel across the empire in order to find the newly matured hippogriffs another that they will accept to bond with and have foals. Not all of them will be bonded, however, only the ones who have been chosen to breed. Hippogriffs that will be sold as mounts are not allowed to bond and are castrated about a month before reaching full maturity. This ensures that they will become loyal to their riders and not run away to mate with another hippogriff.
Perception and Sensory Capabilities
Hippogriffs have the sharp eyes of an eagle that help them spot prey or predators but only when there's a source of light as they lack darkvision. Their hearing isn't as sharp but not it isn't bad.