You see a mouse. You assume a mouse. Then the mouse becomes a woman. Or there's a hawk, and you're admiring it, and suddenly a man is falling out of the sky trying to stab you. It's ridiculous. You can't trust anything in that stupid jungle.
Janaav have three physical forms. The animal form is based on their birth or ancestry. If they were a hawk, or their great grandma was a hawk, then they can shift into a hawk. The second form is their man form. Sex is based on what the animal form. There is a physical tell as to them being janaav, and what type of animal. So if the person was lizard, they may have a patch of scales, or vertically slit eyes. The final form is their janaav form. It is half animal and half man. Depending on the animal species, it is generally between six to nine feet tall. There are animal and man characteristics, and speech with both sides is possible, though communication overall is a little messy. The form is meant to harness the best physical and mental attributes of both in a survival setting.
Genetics and Reproduction
Genetics Janaav will only maintain shape shifting for six generations. After that, the tell weakens to an interesting feature, and shape shifting is impossible. This is strictly if breeding maintains like generation with like generation. Deterioration happens more randomly when mixing generations. While still no more than six generations, a first and third generation could create three to five more generations of children. Or they could be the last janaav in their blood line. Reproduction They have the reproductive features of their animal and man sides, though they can only mate with whatever shape they have. Janaav form is without reproductive organs. Because of this, a pregnant woman who shifts into her janaav form will kill the baby. However, she can shift between animal and woman without incident. The child shifts with her. They can reproduce with men, though it dilutes the blood. A first generation and man have a 50% chance of creating janaav, and it drops 10% with each generation below. There is also the chance children will not be uniform in being janaav or not. Out of four children, one could be janaav, while three could be men. The same is the case when mating with none janaav animals within their species. Janaav can only mate with men and their animal species. They will create no offspring with any other animal, janaav or otherwise.
Janaav generally live somewhere between how long a man and their animal lives. Because of this, turtle janaav can reach prolific ages. Meanwhile, mice janaav are dying around 50.
Janaav keep a lot of their animal social structure. They remain in tribes outside normal society when possible. Those who do not need to interact with other races are kept with their kind, and they can only breed with their animal type and of the same generation. To do otherwise taints the blood, makes the janaav lineage uncertain, and leads to exile.
Geographic Origin and Distribution
Perception and Sensory Capabilities
They inherit the senses of their animal form, though only in janaav and animal form. If a serpent, they are able to sense with their tongue. If a hawk, they have incredible eyesight.