THE MAKO ("WHIPTONGUE")

APPEARANCE - SPECIAL ABILITIES - TERRITORY
HABITAT/BEHAVIOUR - DIET - MATING

The Mako, or "Whiptongue", is one of the smallest and most common of all lizard species in Caelereth. They are about 3-6 nailsbreadth long, covered in light green-scaled skin that darkens faintly under pressure (emotional and touch). They got the nickname “Whiptongue” from the simple fact that they “smell” with their tongue, even more than which is common for a lizard, and that when they “smell” on a hand, the Mako’s rough tongue smacks the skin, it gives a fain “whipping” sound.

Appearance. A male Mako is about 5-6 nailsbreadth long, with a faintly coarser and tougher skin than the smaller females, who are about 3-4 nailsbreadth long. Their skin is (to humans) not very thick or tough, so it’s definitively not that fact which points out the difference between the genders.

Their small, black eyes are found at the side of their head. Their light green colouring easily blends in with the surroundings along the Thaehelvil River and similar areas. The colour darkens upon touch, and when the Mako feels danger. The lizard's skin is shed in small patches in the late spring and in the mating season, both to mark territory and to the fact that the fight between males tear small pieces of the already loose skin off, leaving it on “the battlefield” without getting any real wounds. Most of the skin on their backs is also equipped with spine-like scales that make it far more problematic to swallow them whole.

The tail of the Mako is about 1/3 of the body length of the lizard, and is one of the more well known characteristics of lizards – it falls off when roughly handled or confronted with a superior enemy.

Researchers figured out that the Mako’s smells with their tongue with a couple of methods:

1) They removed their eyes, and the Mako found a tempting piece of meat
2) They removed the tongue, and it didn’t find the piece of meat
3) They removed the nose area (cut away what seemed like the nose, and cut it off with a sharp knife), and it found the meat

A female Mako can in captivity live for 7-8 years, while a male can live for 8. In the wilds, a female usually survives till 5, as the males will eat her at any hint of weakness. A male lives a bit longer, for about 6-7 years, as no other male eats each other. But any other sorts of small predators would happily gobble up a slow whiptongue.
Return to the top

Special Abilities. There is no noteworthy special ability that the Mako possess, except the escape-tactic that is common practice for any small lizard – to release the tail and divert their enemies attention to the writhing and twitching tail. Another feat is that they can “smell” with their whipping tongue. Return to the top

Territory. Mako’s can be found in most warmer places in
Caelereth: in Sarvonia they can be found as far north as the Seaninan Swamp and the Ancythrian Sea. They are found near water in most areas south of that in Sarvonia.

They can also be found in most of Nybelmar, and the southernmost isles in Yamalquain. They are however not found in Aeruillin.
Return to the top

Habitat/Behaviour. Any Mako doesn’t offer any threat to anything bigger than a bug. That is a simple statement that is usually told to small nasty boys who’d rather prefer to torture these creatures without having their parents concern about their business.

Mako’s usually live in small packs, who generally only share their lair. If any Mako is stupid enough to drag his lunch back to the lair, they will start a fight over the rights to the fodder. When their hunger finally is satisfied, it is common that Makos spend the rest of the day in the sun, usually on some sort of rock.

There is no leader or hierarchy system within a pack, but there’s usually a male who is stronger than the others during the mating period who’ll get the rights of all nearby females.

Most Makos usually manage to flee from trouble, like a couple of barn cats, hawks, hedgehogs, dogs or some vilerats, thanks to their ever-wary gaze and their active “smelling” with their tongue.

Mako’s usually prefer a warmer climate, and like to find a place in the sun when relaxing, on the other side, they might place themselves in the shade if it is too hot. In order to avoid harsh weather conditions, Makos hibernate in temperate regions during the winter, generally seeking refuge beneath the frozen earth. During hot, dry weather, they crawl into deep crevices or fissures in the ground, where they can best retain body moisture.
Return to the top

Diet. Whiptongues usually feed on small insects like orms, dalórs, quillý'eférs and any other insects within reach. They also feed upon garbage when it is close at hand. They hunt by smelling their way to their prey with their tongue, and put down the creature by swallowing it in a couple of large bites.

As many creatures do, the males sometimes may eat another Mako, usually a newborn, an old and wheathered female or a carcass.
Return to the top

Mating. Mako’s usually mate in the autumn, when the leaves are starting to fall and the weather is getting colder. This is usually the last thing a Mako does before hibernating.

The males start fighting each other by clawing and biting each other, until one surrenders and withdraws. These fights are fought over and over until one is the complete winner. He then reproduces with all the females, and goes to sleep. The females lay a large cluster of greenish eggs in the ground, which is then covered by a thin layer of dirt, where they are hatched late at spring. Each Mako female lays about 20-30 eggs at total, from which the small, green Makos emerge. They look like miniature versions of their parents, except for their eyes, which are milky white. When they hatch, they are not longer than 0.4 nailsbreadth. Half the young die during the first weeks, as they are chased some days after their hatching. All the young Makos from one lair usually get together and find their own lair. It is not uncommon to find several hundreds of small Makos swarming around a hole in the ground or a wall. And by next hibernation, only 4-8 of the 20-30 young Makoss are left. At the autumn, they are old enough to reproduce, which they do with other Mako in their lair/area.

Small birds and creatures like rolling hedgehogs are known to dig up the egg-holes, and gobble up whatever they can find.
Return to the top

Information provided by The Akorn View Profile