THE SURICA ("SARNI", "SURI")

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

The promiscuous Surica (plural Surica as well) is a sleek and agile rodent that thrives in mountainous terrain. It is often seen scampering between hiding places in search of food or a quick game of chase. These scampering, bounding chases have given the rodent a reputation of a fun loving and comical animal. While found in only a few places they have many related cousins scattered throughout Caelereth.

Appearance. The Surica has a slender elongated body with short legs. The hind legs are longer than the forelegs so the rear is consequently a little higher than the front. These legs end in padded feet with three toes that have short black nails. These nails are used for some digging and tree climbing when necessary. Surica have a somewhat narrow head with rounded ears towards the top and a face tapering to a rounded snout. Their eyes are found more towards the front of the head and are often amber in color. They also have a bushy tail that is a little over a palmspan in length. The body is a little short of a fore in length. Suricas have short fur covering the entire body that will thicken during the winter months. The fur of the Surica is light gray in color. They also have a white collar, a white belly, often white feet and many times the very tip of the bushy tail lightens to a white coloring.

The Zirkumire Mountains have this rodent, known as a Sarni, which looks the same (as described) except that it has several thin darker gray bands across their shoulders. They also have black colored eyes.

The High and Lower Fores’ Surica variety is all gray except for its commonly white belly.

The Tandala Highlands have a Surica that is often called "Suri" and is mostly the same except it may often have a white face with the mouth a darker gray. They also have several thin darker gray bands at the base of their bushy tails and the tip is a dark gray to black color. Return to the top

Special Abilities. The Surica has no special abilities, unless you want to consider the fact they always seem to be pregnant. Return to the top

Territory. It is believed the Surica once covered all of southern Sarvonia from the Tandala Highlands to the Narfost Plains. It was during the Great Famine when a majority of these rodents were killed and eaten. This was due to the relative ease in catching one on open terrain. Only those that lived in the mountainous regions were able to survive. Today they can be found in any very hilly or mountainous areas of southern Sarvonia. They are also often found along the coastal areas where the shores are rocky.
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Habitat/Behaviour. The Surica make their dens in deep crevices between rocks or naturally occurring tunnels or hiding places formed by piled boulders. They will do very little actual digging to form their tunnels or dens but will dig out or expand an area once they find one to their liking. They will defend a territory of about a fore around their dens and chase off any offenders. These rodents are gregarious and live in groups that can reach up to 30 members. These groups will move from time to time to new areas when food supplies start to dwindle. The Surica will never injure another just chase each other, scampering and bounding around constantly when eating or foraging.

Surica can run fast for short distances with many springs and bounds during the run, but must rest often. They can climb trees and have been known to climb one to get to a crevice to make their home, but they are not good climbers. If a tree bark is smooth the Surica can not climb that tree. During the cold winter months a Surica will go into a kind of sleep in their den, and sleep for long periods of time without eating. They may wake up once or twice during this time and forage for food, then return to their sleep.
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Diet. The Surica has a varied and wide-ranging diet. It can consist of insects, spiders, snails, lizards, snakes, small birds, eggs, roots, fruit and other plant material. They have also been known to eat small mammals like mice.
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Mating. The breeding season for the Surica is from early spring until late autumn. If a winter is uncommonly warm, it is also not unheard of for a Surica having a litter then also. The female will take any and all suitors and produce a litter of four to six several times a season. She will line the den with fresh grass for each new litter. The young are born blind but can see within a week and will take solid food by three weeks. Around a month and a half the young are chased from the den to fend for themselves. Although, they sometimes may be chased early if the mother has given birth to a new litter. By two months they are mature enough to breed.
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Usages. The Surica is mainly the food for birds of prey, such as the mighty Tóran eagle, or larger land predators such as wolves. Although the poor have been known to use them as food also. The pelt from the Surica is sometimes used as lining for winter cloaks or as decorations on clothing. This is not a common practice, as the pelt has a strong musky scent that is hard to remove.
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