When walking through the rainforest one can never be sure that a bush is just a bush. It could very easily be a Karetan waiting to leap at you.
Karetans are a feline species which can be found mainly in the Mizarin Jungle but they are known to exist as far as north eastern Oneraga and Avak'am. In their neutral form they have the appearance of a jaguar. However, they have an additional abilty which allows them to change the colour of their fur to match the environment around them.
This makes it quite hard to notice a Karetan in its rainforest environment. Because of this ability they are one of the most fearsome predators in any rainforest.
Karetan or Invisible Jaguar
The largest population can be found in the Mizarin Jungle but it is also present in other rainforests in north eastern Oneraga and northern Avak'am.
2m length, tail can be up to 1m lenght
When not actively camouflaging themselves they have a similar appearance to a jaguar although they are slightly larger. Just as a regular jaguar they often have a yellowish colour with black spots in a rose like form. One key difference though is the fur on their back which is not as smooth as with a regular jaguar. The fur on their back seemingly stands upward in random positions and some parts even resemble leaves.
What really sets the Karetan apart is their camouflage ability which allows them to change the colour of their fur. For the fur on their back this often is green which makes the hairs in weird positions resemble vines and leaves. A Karetan can therefore appear as a form of bush for the untrained eye.
When it comes to food the Karetans are not really picky and just kill and eat whatever they can find. It is not uncommon to see a karetan even hunt for fish in shallow streams. Of course most of their hunting happens on land where it can make full use of its abilties. Here they often eat monkeys, deer, turtles, birds, snakes and even larger animals such as dinosaurs.
Unlike other jaguar they are not necessarily solitary hunters and often hunt in packs of 3 to 4 when taking down larger creatures. Dinosaurs are one of their preferred meals and they often lay ambushes to catch them. Once they are in an optimal position they leap out from their hidding spot and kill their prey.
by kefkejaco with midjourney
by Kefkejaco with midjourney
Karetans prefer the rainforests as the dense vegetation allows them to use their camouflage abilties to the fullest. They can, however, sometimes be seen in less densly populated areas such as savannahs. Here the high grasses also add enough benefit for the Karetan to hunt silently.
Most of the time a Karetan is a silent predator. When a female looks for a mate, however, she roars as loud as she can to attract a partner. The male that answers the call then typically stays with the female to help nurture the resulting children. On average about 2 - 3 cubs are born which the mother hides in dense vegetation or a hollow tree until they are large enough.
At around 4 years the female cubs reach maturity while the males reach this at 5 years. Once they are matured a male Karetan typically goes searching for a partner while the female children stay with their parents. Any new male partners for the female offspring join the original group. If the group get too large they typically split off into smaller groups.
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kefkejaco with midjourney
Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull
I love that these take a big cat's natural camouflage and dial it up to eleven. Do the young know how to change colour instinctively or is it something they learn?