Back



Mammals


Anteater: There are six varieties of anteater in the rainforests near Schendi. One type is the great spined anteater. It is about twenty feet long and has heavy, clawed forefeet. These claws are generally used to break into termite nests, its primary prey. They are also strong enough to eviscerate a larl. The anteater's four-foot long tongue is coated with adhesive saliva used to collect termites. It commonly makes a whistling sound.

Bosk: There are fifteen varieties of bosk, a cattle-like animal. These varieties include the brown bosk, red bosk, and milk bosk. They are the long-haired wild ox of the plains. They have a thick, humped neck, a wide head, and tiny red eyes. They also have the temper of a sleen. With their two long horns, they can be quite deadly. The horns reach out and suddenly curve forward and may reach the length of two spears. They are very important animals to the Wagon Peoples as well as many others on Gor. Bosk meat and milk is available over much of Gor.

Deer: A northern variety is mentioned in Marauders of Gor, although no description is given.

Frevet: This is a small, quick, and friendly mammalian insectivore. It sometimes lives in insulae in the cities and eats pests. Since it cannot eat through walls, the frevet does not harm the insulae.

Gatch, Armored: A marsupial of the rainforest areas of Schendi.

Giani: This is a solitary, prowling, tiny cat-sized panther. It lives in the rainforests near Schendi and is not dangerous to man

Hurt: This is a two-legged, domesticated marsupial that bounds like a kangaroo. It is raised on ranches in several northern cities, herded by sleen and sheared for their white wool. A hurt replaces its wool four times a year. The finest wool is sheared in the spring from the bellies of hurts and verr.

Kaiila: There are two varieties of kaiila, the southern kaiila and the desert, or sand, kaiila. The earlier books stated that kaiila did not exist in the northern hemisphere, but this was later changed, since the Red Savages in the Barrens have kaiila. The two varieties are very similar. The southern kaiila are used by the Wagon Peoples as mounts. It is a silken, lofty, and graceful animal. It is long necked, smooth-gaited, and carnivorous. It is mammalian but doesn't suckle its young. The young are born vicious and can hunt as soon as they struggle to their feet. The mother's instinct is to deliver the young near game. Once a kaiila eats its fill, it will not eat for several days.

They are extremely agile and can easily outmaneuver a high tharlarion. They require less food than a tarn. They normally stand about twenty to twenty-two hands at the shoulder. They can cover as much as six hundred pasangs a day. Its head bears two large eyes, one on each side, and the eyes are triple-lidded, so it can travel in adverse weather like storms. It is most dangerous at these times and often hunts then. Some are colored black. They also have long, triangular tongues, long ears and four rows of fangs. They are trained to avoid the thrown spear. Until it is proficient in this skill, it is not allowed to breed.

The sand, or desert, kaiila is used as a mount in the Tahari. They are almost all tawny colored, though there are some black ones. This variety does suckle their young. Kaiila milk is reddish and has a strong salty taste. This is an omnivorous creature and must feed more frequently than the southern kaiila. Its paws are much broader, the digits being webbed with leathery fibers and heavily padded. Its hair is never sheared, though it is gathered when it sheds. The most prized hair is found on its belly. Such hairs are commonly used to make cloth. The long outer hairs are coarser and used for ropes and tent cloth.

Kailiauk: This is a short-trunked, stocky, awkward ruminant of the plains. There are several varieties, including the yellow kailiauk. The yellow variety is tawny and their haunches are marked in red and brown bars. The males have a trident of horns and usually stand about ten hands at the shoulder. Females only stand about eight. The males weigh about sixteen hundred to two thousand pounds and the females only weigh twelve hundred to sixteen hundred pounds. They are located in the savannahs and plains north and south of the rainforests. Some herds even frequent the forests.

The kailiauk of the Barrens is the larger type, standing twenty to twenty-five hands, and weighing up to four thousand pounds. Their numbers in the Barrens are enormous and most have never seen a man or sleen. They have nearly no natural enemies. They are migratory creatures and drift with the seasons, bending northward in the summer and southward in the winter. They generally follow a gigantic oval pattern that crosses the lands of many tribes so a tribe need not leave its own territory to hunt them. The kailiauk in the Barrens travel in herds that have often been named. Some famous herds include the Boswell, Bento and Hogarthe herds.

The four or five best known herds number between two and three million animals. The tremors from any of those herds can be felt fifty pasangs away. There are several smaller herds numbering in the hundreds of thousands, and there are even smaller herds of hundreds to thousands. They are rarely hunted on foot except in snow. They are commonly hunted riding kaiila. They have four stomachs and an eight-valve heart. A Red Savage can kill one with a single arrow by striking into the intestinal cavity behind the last rib causing large internal bleeding or by a shot behind the left shoulder blade into the heart.

Larl: There are several varieties of this tawny leopard-like beast that is indigenous to the Voltai and other ranges. It is six to eight feet tall at the shoulder. Its head is broad, sometimes more than two feet across, and shaped roughly like a triangle. This makes its head viper-like. Their heads are in constant motion. It has an unobtrusive bony ridge which runs from its four nasal slits to the start of its backbone. The ridge can be penetrated by a spear but an imperfect cast would glance off the bone. It has an eight-valve heart in the center of its breast. They sometimes visit the civilized plains.

When it hunts alone, it is silent until it roars preceding its charge. When hunting with others, they emit hunting cries, cries to drive their prey toward a certain direction, into the path of quiet larls of the same pride. A larl prefers to ruin a hunt, even with a number of other quarries, if it means that one might escape. No one has ever tamed a larl. Even when raised from a cub, a larl will go wild at sometime and run away. They are hunted with spears. They usually only attack men when provoked or no other prey is available.

Hunters of larls use the Gorean spear. They go in single file. When they see a larl, the first man in the line casts his spear and then drops to the ground, covering himself with his shield. If the larl is not dead, the next man in line will cast his spear. The last spear must stand his ground if the larl is not dead and face it with his sword alone so the others can escape. The First Spear is usually the best spearman and Last the worst. Its pelt is normally a tawny red or sable black. The black larl is predominately nocturnal and both male and female have manes. The red larl, the more common type, hunts whenever hungry and has no mane.

Females of both types are smaller but are quite as aggressive and sometimes even more dangerous, particularly when they are hunting for their cubs during the late fall and winter. The white larls have upper canine fangs that are a foot in length and extend down like a saber-toothed tiger. Their tails are long and tufted at the end. There are also larls in the jungles near Schendi. The heart of the mountain larl allegedly brings great luck, even more luck than that of the sleen. There is even a larl hunter dance that is performed by men. They dance in a file, dancing the stalking of the beast including the confrontation and the kill.

Lart, Snow: This is a four-legged mammal whose winter fur is snowy white. It has two stomachs and the food in its second stomach can be held almost indefinitely. It hunts in the sun, eating bird's eggs and leems. It is about ten inches high and weighs eight to twelve pounds. A good pelt could sell in Ar for half a silver tarsk.

Leem: This is a small arctic rodent hunted by the Red Hunters for its pelt. It weighs around five to ten ounces and is said to hibernate in the winter. Its summer coat is brown.

Monkeys: Several varieties of monkeys live in the rainforest, such as Guernon monkeys, tarsiers and the nocturnal jit monkeys.

Panther: There are several varieties of this cat. They include jungle panthers, yellow panthers, and forest panthers. The forest panther is a proud beast that does not care to be distracted when it is hunting. It hunts largely at night but is not nocturnal. It will hunt when hungry or irritable. A panther will only attack men if they are provoked or if no other prey is available. Panthers are able to climb but they normally take a hunting scent from the ground.

Porcupine: This is a long-tailed variety that lives in the rainforests.

Quala: This is a small, three-toed mammal. It is dun colored with a stiff brushy mane of black hair. It travels in a scampering flock. The plural form for them is qualae.

Slee: This is a rodent that makes its home in the jungle.

Sleen: There are several varieties of this six-legged, long-bodied carnivorous mammal. It is almost like a snake. Some can get as big as twenty feet long and up to twelve to fourteen hundred pounds. It has two rows of teeth in a wide and triangular head. Its paws have six claws. It smells like a weasel or ferret but only stronger. A sleen is a very dirty animal. It is an efficient, tireless, almost infallible hunter. It is capable of pursuing a scent, days old, for hundreds of pasangs. In the wild, the sleen is burrowing and nocturnal. It will not climb. The preferred prey is the tabuk.

A sleen mates once a year in the spring. The mating ritual is interesting. If a female has never mated before, she will flee and fight a male sleen. The male must finally take her by the throat and, belly to belly, mate with her. After mating once, a female never needs to be forced again. The mating season is usually confined to the spring. Gestation is six months and there are usually four young born. The young are commonly white-furred and darken by the next spring. A young sleen is about eight feet long and an adult is nineteen to twenty feet long. A young sleen's attack is noisy, a whistling rush, a clumsy squealing charge. An adult sleen can make kills swiftly and silently.

There is also a hunting frenzy experienced by some sleen that is a function, in part, of the secretions of certain glands. Most domestic sleen are bred, since it is hard to tame a wild one and a wild sleen could revert. If young sleen are taken from their mother within the first two months of their life, there is a good chance they can be tamed. It may still revert, especially in the spring during the mating period. Specific verbal signals between a master and his trained sleen are private. Verbalizing is important because a sleen on the hunt may not look at its master.

Sleen are used for herding verr and bosk, tracking tabuk and slaves, guarding and patrolling, and many other activities. In Thentis, sleen sniff out the smuggling of black wine beans. Assassins sometimes use them. The gray sleen is the best tracker. The forest sleen is large, and commonly either brown or black. The prairie sleen is smaller than the forest sleen, usually only seven feet in length. It is domesticated as herd sleen and used as shepherds and sentries by the Wagon People.

Aquatic sleens, or sea sleens, are common in the north. There are four varieties of sea sleen in the north including the black sleen, brown sleen, tusked sleen, and flat-nosed sleen. Many migrate though some remain largely dormant in the winter. Their principal prey is parsit fish and they follow their migrations. A medium-sized adult sea sleen is about eight feet long and weighs 300 to 400 pounds. There is a white snow sleen in the north as well. Sleen hunters eat its heart for luck when they kill one. There are no sleen in the rainforests. The sleen is considered Gor's most perfect hunter.

Sloth: A slow-moving arboreal mammal that inhabits tropical forests. It hangs from the branches back downward, and feeds on leaves, shoots, and fruits.

Squirrels: This is a small to medium-sized arboreal rodent having a long bushy tail and strong hind legs.

Tabuk: There are several varieties of this one-horned, yellow antelope. The common type frequents ka-la-na thickets. It is small, graceful and eats berries and salt. Young tabuk rarely leave the thickets. Their hide is a mottled yellow and brown. The northern tabuk is massive, tawny, and swift. Many stand ten hands at the shoulder. Northern tabuk hairs are hollow and give its fur an excellent insulating quality. Both types have a single horn of ivory, a deadly weapon. It is a yard or so long and two and a half inches at the base.

The herd of Tancred is a gigantic herd of northern tabuk, one of several. This herd winters in the rims of the northern forests, south and east of Torvaldsland. In the springtime, short-haired and hungry, they migrate northward, following the shore of Thassa until they reach the tundra of the polar basin for their summer grazing. When winter comes, long-haired and fat, they return south.

The prairie tabuk reside in the Barrens. It is tawny, single-horned, and travels in herds. Some varieties lie down when sensing danger. They can attain short-term speeds of eighty to ninety pasangs an ahn. Their evasive leaps can cover thirty to forty feet in length and heights of ten to fifteen feet. There are twenty varieties of tabuk in the rainforests.

Tarsk: This is a six-tusked wild boar, with a bristly mane running down its spine. There is a giant tarsk that stands ten hands at the shoulder. There are several varieties of tarsk in the rainforests, both large and small. They can be domesticated and the rencers keep some. They are best hunted from the back of kaiila with lances and the giant tarsk is often hunted on tarns with lances. Tarsk meat tends to be salty.

Urt: There are several varieties of this common rodent. It is usually fat, sleek and white. It has three rows of needle-like teeth, tusks that curve from its jaw and two horns that protrude over its eyes. It also has a long hairless tail. Most are tiny enough to hold in palm of your hand but some can get as big as wolves or ponies. Certain varieties migrate twice a year and it is only dangerous if you are in the middle of their path. In the rainforests, there are gliding, ground, leaf and tree urts. The canal urt is web-footed and can be found in Port Kar's canals. There are also brush urts and forest urts. Some large urts are domesticated and bred for attacking and killing. Most urts attack in a pack and are messy and noisy when attacking.

Vart: This is a blind, bat-like flying rodent. It can grow to the size of a small dog. They can strip a carcass in minutes. Some are rabid. They hang upside down like bats. There are jungle varts in the rainforests. Varts on Tyros are trained as weapons.

Verr: This is a mountain goat, indigenous to the Voltai Mountains. It is long-haired, spiral-horned, and ill-tempered. There is a small, long-haired verr that is smaller and less belligerent than the wild verr. Some are domesticated and they are a source of wool and milk. The finest wool is sheared in the spring from the bellies.

Zeder: This is a small, sleen-like carnivore from the rainforests. It frequents the Ua River and its tributaries. It grows to two feet and weighs eight to ten pounds. It is diurnal, can swim well, and builds a stick and mud nest in tree branches where it sleeps at night.




Back