THE BOGSNAPPER

APPEARANCE - SPECIAL ABILITIES - TERRITORY
HABITAT/BEHAVIOURDIET - MATING

The Bogsnapper is an amphibious swamp-dwelling beast with a long neck, long legs and a bill. However, it is only a ped in height, which makes it just the right size for the mullogs, who use it as a pack animal and a steed of sorts. These animals are particularly tame and not very bright.

The Bogsnapper

View picture in full size Picture description. A Bogsnapper as it can be found in on of the mullog swamps, irritated by some skeetoh flies. Image drawn by Seeker.

Appearance. The Bogsnapper is roughly a ped in height and ped and two fore long. It has a wide bill-like beak, raspy tongue, and a narrow head with large black-blue eyes. The ears of the Bogsnapper are internal, only small holes in the side of its head are seen. A bony protrusion extends past the back of the Bogsnapper's skull, with a membraneous flap connecting the end of the protrusion to the skull. A long, sinuous neck supports the head and connects it to the round body. The Bogsnapper's back is slightly humped with a bumpy spinal ridge. The legs of the Bogsnapper are long and narrow to the patella, then widen out to flat circular pads. The tail of the Bogsnapper is little more than a wide, rounded stump.

The skin of the Bogsnapper is supple and slightly slimy, much like a rubite or a fish. The skin is covered in warts and welts, but they are not viruses or afflictions; they help absorb water into the skin. The color of the Bogsnapper's hide ranges from a deep blue to a sickly yellow, with welts and warts contrasting to the basic hide color. Thus a deep-blue Bogsnapper would have yellow welts, and a pale-green one would have deep red warts.

Bogsnappers make quite a bit of noise. They croak and honk to one another and at passing creatures, and their warning call can only be described as "the neigh of a drowning horse".
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Special Abilities. The Bogsnapper is able to absorb water and air through its hide. Its arterial structure is close to the surface and the Bogsnapper has wide pores. Thus, it can submerge its head and still breathe, though not relatively well. This action allows the animal a way to hide from predators, as it can act dead.
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Territory. The Bogsnapper lives in marshes all over Caelereth, its coloring relating to the area's dominat colors. If an area is muddy, blue Bogsnappers are more prevalent, when yellow Bogsnappers thrive well in reedy marshes. The markings are not genetic, but more of natural selection; it is easier for a predator to see a blue Bogsnapper in the reeds than it is to see a yellow one.
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Habitat/Behaviour. Bogsnappers live in herds, from 5-20 in a herd, males and females together. They wander through the marsh, foraging for food. These animals are not territorial, as is proven when herds meet. If one watches two herds approach one another, they simply wander through. Sometimes herds will gain and lose members this way. The Bogsnapper sleeps laying down in the water; they prefer to have their legs and most of their bodies underwater. They rest their heads on their humps, some use the bony protrusion to prop their heads against reeds or one another.

If a predator approaches the Bogsnapper, they will do a small display; they will kick their legs and then flop to one side, imitating death. It does not matter if the Bogsnapper's head falls under the water, their amphibian skin will be able to absorb air for some time. If the predator gets curious, the Bogsnapper will wait until they get close and then get up quickly, their floundering legs perhaps planting a kick in the predator. Unfortunately for the Bogsnapper, their hides are thin and their veins close to the surface. A drag-down by a predator will usually be fatal.
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Diet. Bogsnappers are capable of sifting through the mud with their flat bills for larvae and insects. The Bogsnapper will take a billful of mud and then dip their bill under the water, opening and closing it quickly; this sifts out the silt and leaves the heavy food behind. Bogsnappers also eat small fish, frogs and grasses.
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Mating. There is no season to the Bogsnapper mating. There is little ritual to it as well. When a male wishes to mate, he approaches a female and mounts her from behind. If she does not wish to mate she will fight back; if she does, she will do nothing.

The female Bogsnapper will dig a shallow home in the mud and lay 2-3 eggs shortly after. These soft-shelled eggs are considered a delicacy among some races, and are an easy catch to predators who know where to look. The female will then leave the eggs alone as she continues on with the herd. These eggs will stay warm and semi-protected under the silt for 2 months, until they are ready to hatch. When they do, they dig their way to the surface. A baby Bogsnapper will be a little larger than a fore, and from birth, they must take care of themselves. Clutches tend to stay together, and some clutches will band together in large numbers (about 20-50) until they are old enough to take care of themselves. This small age is prime for catching Bogsnappers for domestication; they will not fight much, and their skin is more rubbery and less chance for injury. Bogsnappers live about 15 years.
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