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Viperwolf

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With six legs and a lean, powerful torso, the viperwolf has evolved to travel swiftly over long distances in search of prey. The ratio of brain mass to body weight of the average adult viperwolf indicates a high order of mental processing, pattern recognition and communication skills. (Read more)
Their keen, intelligent green eyes can see as clearly at night as in the day. Their long distance vision is only moderate, but their depth perception is superb. Their sense of smell is second to only the thanator (based on the few creatures who have been measured to date). It is believed that a viperwolf can sense prey from more than eight kilometers away.


Very few predators (the mountain banshee among them) will attempt an attack on a viperwolf, who nearly always moves in a pack that can mass into a highly cooperative hunting party within seconds. The pack appears to communicate information about the potential prey or predator with facial tics, paw gestures and audio cues.


The viperwolf hunts in small groups, communicating with short coyote-like barks and yelps. Its primate-like paws (which include opposable thumbs) allow it to climb trees as well as stalk from the ground, thereby creating a three- dimensional hunting field. When stalking prey, the viperwolf is able to reduce its profile by hugging the ground or clinging to tree limbs. Thus hidden, a viperwolf can often approach within a few meters of unsuspecting prey, and then attack with frightening efficiency. (One xenobiologist describes this graceful, ominous movement as "liquid darkness.")


Only months after birth, a viperwolf cub is required to hunt on its own. However, the cubs mature swiftly and grow to half the adult size by their sixth month. By then, they also have a full set of teeth and their jaw muscles are almost mature; a viperwolf's jaws can exert four kilograms of pressure per square centimeter, easily enough to crush bone, or even stone.

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