The tallest herbivore in Garuda is also the most gentle
A legendary sized type of giraffid that grazes the quiet and remote parts of Northern Garuda.
King of the Giraffid
Large grazing animals are commonplace to the denizens of Garuda. The wide, ample grasslands and vast valleys make ready homes for thousands of species. However, in the remote foothills of Northern Garuda, there lives an exceptionally large herbivore, even by Tikor standards, the Shivasteed. Standing at over 3m, it's curved horns can often be seen poking above the forest canopy. Their size eclipses all of their giraffid cousins, making them the obvious king of the four-legged grazing animals.
Despite its size, the Shivasteed has the reputation for being an extremely amicable creature. It rarely holds fights over breeding grounds or territory. There are only one or two verified accounts of humans being attacked by Shivasteed, and all cases the human was the aggressor. This is not to say that one of these giant giraffids is not capable of defending themselves. The burgeoning weight of their skull and horns causes them to develop extremely powerful neck muscles. This allows them to either swing their heavy head sideways like a 1,000 kg hammer or forwards like a battering ram.
The animal's size and gentle reputation have often caused humans to go looking for the giant herbivores, eager to see them with their own eyes. Unfortunately, Shivasteeds are extremely shy toward humans and often dash at the first sign of the two-legged observer. With legs at over 1m long, once the animal starts to run, there's almost no catching it. This has made the study of the animal rather difficult, as it can be extremely difficult to stay near one of the long-legged creatures for long. Upon hearing or seeing a human, they will flee at top speed.
There is a famous tale of one entity that was able to charm the skittish creature, even turning the tree grazing animal into a mount. The See'er tell a story of a lost culture in the foothills of the Adras Mountains that worshipped a set of unnamed gods. All are still unnamed but one. A god only known as Shiva is said to have sung to the tall mammal until it bent it's head in reverence, allowing the god to ride the huge creature. Thus earning it the name Shivasteed or Shiva's Steed.
Anatomy & Morphology
In many ways, the Shivasteed resembles other Girrafids such as the Okapi. The large creature comes in at 2.5m just from hoof to shoulder, including the next puts an average Shivasteed at over 3m. Their legs are fairly thin, with the majority of their muscle coming from their thick thighs and compact midsection. Their shoulders are extremely well developed, due to holding up its large skull and heavy antlers. Like most Giraffid's, the Shivasteed has two sets of curved horns, on it is head and the set behind the eyes.
Ecology and Habitats
These gigantic ungulates tend toward keeping to the enormous trees that cover the foot of the Adras Mountains and generally range across the Northern region of Garuda . While they don't migrate, they will often move to other parts of the region to escape predators or negative weather conditions. Their height gives them a monopoly when it comes to food, allowing them to essentially live anywhere with tall vegetation.
Dietary needs and habits
Shivasteeds are herbivores, picking off the fruit and vegetation at the top of the forest canopy. Their strong jaws and flat teeth allow them to break through even the toughest fruit or vegetable casing.
- Genetic Ancestor(s)
- Northern Garuda
- 50 Years
- Conservation Status
- Like most animals in Garuda, the Shivasteed is protected against hunting for any reason. This doubly goes for the gentle giant, they say severe and mystical misfortune befalls any who harm them. The tall creatures are protected by nature itself, a testament to it's sweet and gentle nature.
- Average height
- 3 meters
- Average weight
- 1200 kg
- Average length
- 2.5 meters
- Average physique
- Like most animals in the Giraffid family, it has long thin legs, wide body, and long neck. The Shivasteed, however, has an exceptionally muscular neck due to its heavy head.
- Body tint, colouring and marking
- Short dark yellow fur with various markings. Some in the form of spots, some in the form of lines.