The Hami, who inhabit the ground of the Black Forest, would be having a very bad time if they hadn't befriended these creatures. NOTE: While I do say that they're hairless and have light green, yellow or blue eyes, this is just the case across most of the Black Forest. Things like this vary across different parts of the Black Forest, such as some having blood red or varying shades of grey eyes or having light grey fur, and the Hami that live with them will often have matching similarities like those red or grey eyes. check out the story this world is a setting for in this story-telling Discord (you can tell your own stories too): https://discord.gg/w9mQP3nFGq
Take a horse. Give it a warthog's head, now make that warthog's head thinner and replace the pig nose with a more rounded nose like that of a typical Western dragon. Make the tusks have a bit of a lower angle and be more forward facing. Now make any teeth which aren't pointed like those of a crocodile pointed like those of a crocodile - they do not chew meat, they rip off chunks and swallow it whole. Next, for its feet, replace the hooves with feet like those of a Jurassic Park velociraptor. When running on flat ground, their fingers and toes curl up to their heel so that their claws form a muscle-claw-bone structure that is functionally the same as a hoof, but which can be unfurled so that they may use their fingers and toes for climbing and attacking prey and enemies. They are mammalian, without scales anywhere on their body, and either hairless or have a thin layer of grey, spotty fur. Their skin is tough and thick, like that of a rhino. Their tails are very small and are usually bitten off by their siblings during childhood.
Eye colours vary between light blue, light green and light yellow, always with slit pupils. Size can vary greatly, with the largest known Hamiko having been about 3 meters tall, but they're usually around 6 feet tall. Fowls have either grey or white manes. It should be noted that these manes look more like that of a hyena than that of a horse. Fur is generally light spotty grey, but most don't have fur at all.
Genetics and Reproduction
They breed proportionately to the availability of food and how dangerous the environment is - more dangerous environments encourage more breeding - and are born androgynous. During infancy, the fowls will become male or female depending on certain factors but the primary ones are whether or not they're bonded to a Hami (in which case they always take the same sex as the Hami) or, if they're not bonded to a Hami, they will sexually dimorph based on the current male : female ratio. Those that dimorph based on the ratio do so at a slightly older age than those that do so based on their Hami's biological sex. Once infancy is finished, changing biological sex isn't possible... I mean unless the Hami get some 21st century technology and change the sexes of the Hami using hormone and surgical treatment because then it would literally be easier than it is with humans. They don't have any particular breeding season but increased availability of food means most breeding takes place in Spring and Summer. When 2 Hami form a couple, their Hamiko will usually form a couple as well and deliberately reproduce at the same time as their Hami. It's considered natural that the fowls from this be bonded to the human children (Hami are an ethnicity of human by the way) born from these couples. Hamiko pregnancies last about 5 months and the Hamiko pairs formed due to Hami pairs mentioned previously will reproduce when they see that a female Hami is pregnant. In instances of a homosexual relationship between 2 Hami women, meaning a homosexual Hamiko relationship, the Hamiko will seek out male mates if their owners are pregnant. In instances of a homosexual relationship between 2 Hami men,
Growth Rate & Stages
Generally take 15 years to reach sexual maturity but can continue slowly growing in size to 35. Until the age of about 15 or 16, they have grey or white manes. These essentially indicate "please don't kill me if I'm annoying I'm just a stupid child."
Ecology and Habitats
Black Forest Just one of the many nightmare-fuel places in the Afterlife.
Dietary Needs and Habits
Mostly carnivorous. They prefer lean meat. Will also stomp on nuts to break them open and then eat the insides, as well as eating certain fungi and berries. Have been known to in their burrows rip open tree roots to drink the sap.
During Winter, in which snow piles up on the leaves of the Black Forest above and will often fall to the floor below in massive clumps when branches break under the weight or bundles of snow fall off the sides, they generally huddle together in burrows they dig for warmth. Living with the Hami, however, means these burrows are made by both Hami and Hamiko, mostly the Hami, and are much warmer and more comfortable due to the Hami's fires and bedding.
When food is short, the leader is naturally the biggest, strongest Hamiko as packs turn in on themselves, food from hunts is fought over and the weakest are sometimes cannibalised. This leader is backed up by the next few strongest Hamiko, although they may instead gang up on their leader if they dislike them, killing and eating them. This is normally the case about 70% of the time for wild packs of Hamiko, with few fowls living to adulthood due to them being killed and eaten by their cousins the moment their parents take their eyes off of them. When food isn't short, however, there isn't a clear leader. Hunts are done simply by a few of them going "yo I'm hungry" and one of the more intelligent and confident ones among them would naturally take the lead. Hami deliberately make sure those which are bonded to them have more food and so can grow stronger than those who aren't bonded. This way, their Hamikos are guaranteed to be the leading Hamiko when food is short. Even in these dire circumstances, Hamiko will defend the Hami they're bonded to, even when outnumbered by or up against stronger Hamiko, and this prevents Hami from being targeted by unbonded Hamiko in these times, meaning that unbonded Hamiko are the first ones to be feasted upon by Hami and their Hamiko brethren in difficult times. Hamiko who are with a Hami tribe will, as a result of both conditions, take human Hami as their leaders.
The Hami literally evolved Hamiko-like traits just to make it easier to tame Hamikos. Keep in mind evolution isn't deliberate this was just mutations and natural selection, although some gene transference from Hamiko to Hami may have taken place. That said, domesticated Hamiko have changed to suit Hami as well. That bonding stuff doesn't work as well with wild Hamiko fowls, and domesticated Hamiko are more cooperative with both each other and Hami. They have muscles under their skin over their eyes that help them display emotion to humans, much like dogs. Domesticated Hamiko are somewhat larger and not quite as fast as their wild evolutionary siblings (too close to say cousins) but both are still very large and strong.
Uses, Products & Exploitation
Hamiko skin is used as armour by the Hami... just to clarify they don't usually kill Hamiko for their skin it's just that Hamiko do have a limited lifespan, once it's dead you might as well, and the Hami know how to use piss and salt mined from the earth to make sure bacteria and fungi cannot ruin the armour for generations. This armour tends to come in lots of different pieces, meaning it can be specialised to the Hami wearing it without them having to ruin their grandparent's creation in any way. This skin is used for other stuff too. They're also eaten when they die. Both the skinning and eating of the meat are ceremonial and treated with great reverence as it's viewed as a way to keep the animal's spirit with them. In which case that might make you wonder and yes: Hami cannibalise their dead relatives. If they died of disease they just do stuff to the meat to disinfect it like leaving it in one of their alcohols, which makes it taste so awful it's difficult to keep down but hey they're literally religious about it so they tough it out. And so on when they die: claws and bones made into tools and weapons, fowls shedding their manes into adulthood get to see the hairs used for bows and guitars, oh and can't forget them being the Hami equivalent to simultaneous dogs and horses.
Geographic Origin and Distribution
Similar intelligence to foxes.
Perception and Sensory Capabilities
Brilliant smell, hearing and night vision. Somewhat short-sighted. Colourblind, only seeing red and green. They have an aversion to bright light but if put near fire without being burnt as fowls they will become able to stay calm near it for life... they'll still run away from infernos and stuff tho they're not stupid.
Symbiotic and Parasitic organisms
Wild ones are known to often have parasites such as yotics (lice but they burrow through thick skin and burrow out entire nests for their eggs while sucking the blood)