Sand drakes are common throughout most of Tekeburi in the savanna and deserts. They are used for transportation in parts of Elys and Hebe, and are often thought to symbolize the power of community.
BiologySand drakes are large lizard-like beasts with a stocky quadrupedal body plan and strong limbs. They have small eyes with nictating membranes to keep out the sand, and have vents behind their ears to release excess heat. Their feet are wide and have thick pads protecting them from the sand, and strong talons that they use to dig into rock and sand. They have long thick tails used for balance. Female sand drakes are larger, have louder calls, and have stripes on the top of their head. Sand drakes have a coloration that is cream to brown in color, and can have a variety of markings from spots to rosettes. Sand drake eyes are green or brown.
Life CycleSand drakes have a gestation period of 2 months, after which they lay an egg that is incubated for another month. When they hatch, they are active after mere minutes, able to run around and learn. They reach adolescence around 3 year old and sexual maturity around 7 years old, after which the males are chased out of the shield, while the females begin life in the shield. Around 30 years old, the health of a sand drake begins to decline, and most die before they reach 50.
Sand drakes in the wild live in groups called "shields" (e.g. a shield of sand drakes). Each shield has a clearly defined leader as the largest and strongest sand drake, usually a female drake. The other female drakes in the shield will protect the young collectively. Shields are made up of 6-15 drakes of varying ages. The females are the daughters of the lead drake, while the males are from other shields. Male drakes leave the shield when they are old enough to survive on their own.
Sand drakes are scavengers and opportunistic carnivores, eating mainly recently dead carrion. Sand drakes are known to steal kills from other predators, as not many predators can get through their hides.
HabitatSand drakes live in the deserts and savannas of Tekeburi, mainly near rivers or oases.
In CultureSand drakes are important to Hebian and Elysian cultures for their use in transportation. Sand drakes can form strong bonds with their trainers, and often a trainer and a sand drake are bonded for life. In some parts of Hebe, it is traditon to give the children of a chief a shield drake egg when they reach adulthood, so the drake grows alongside them.
Sand drakes symbolize power in Elys, and sand drakes are seen painted on palace walls alongside lions. In the early days of Elys, sand drakes symbolized the power of community and connection. In myths and legends, sand drakes often accompany heroes and are venerated alongside gods that they are associated with.
1.5 -1.7 meters
2.5 - 3 meters
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