both are egg laying mammal species

How to Build a Mammal!

This is the second in a series of posts about how to build your own species of a particular group of animals or plants. As other articles are written for this series, they will appear under “How to Build…” under the resources section of this blog.

If you’re brainstorming a new world, you’re probably inclined to include animals that are at least a little similar to Earth’s animals, even if your world isn’t Earth at all. Usually you see some sort of mammal in fantasy world, and your story will be all the richer if you make some of your own. Click the read-more, and we’ll begin!

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Kubrows are an interesting and incredibly common species of monotreme found throughout Valoran. There are an astronomical number of variations of kubrow, ranging from small, fox-like creatures to some near the size of ponies.

In general, kubrow are carnivorous, egg-laying mammals. They appear to be an evolutionary offshoot with many bat-like features, but are entirely terrestrial. Some kubrow only have thin, hair-like filaments (seen above in the Smenko kubrow) while others have thick, shaggy coats (Raksa kubrow, above). Even within species there is wide variation, however, dependent on region.

All kubrow have a few distinguishing features. Large, flat noses help with both their sense of smell (stronger still than the best bloodhounds) and help them echolocate in the dark. Large, dexterous ears catch a wide array of sounds and frequencies beyond that which the human ear can. Large claws are present on almost all species, though their function can vary wildly - some kubrow species are strong diggers, while others climb trees and live a nearly arboreal existence.

Smenko Kubrow are most commonly found throughout southern Noxian territory, Icathia, and the Tempest flats and are considered the ‘true’ kubrow species. They show the least genetic variety and have the most primitive features. Wiry fur covers their entire body and they tend to be scavengers more than hunters. Bald faces allow them to dig through rotting carcasses and fecal matter to scrounge out whatever food they can, while dark fur allows them to blend in with the volcanic rocks they call home.

Huras Kubrow are the smallest of the kubrow species, only growing the size of a large house cat. Found on the Ionian mainland and Aguni island (but not naturally on Galrin or Shon-Xan - they have been introduced) they spend their time in low-growing vegetation. Unlike most kubrow they are solitary and almost entirely crepuscular. If tamed from a young age, they make fantastic pets, hunting rats, mice, and other vermin out of their owner’s houses and farms.

Raksa, or Desert Kubrow, are found exclusively in the Shurima. With longer forelegs than hind legs, Raksa kubrow are powerful hunters that act much like hyenas. Their jaws are thick and their jaw muscles are entirely capable of crunching straight through bone. Often kept as pets and guard animals by Shuriman royalty, Raksa kubrow are known for their willingness to lay down their life for their master - but are intent on taking other lives with them in the process.

Sahasa Kubrow are the most widespread of all of the kubrow species, ranging everywhere from the Kumungu to the Freljord. Powerful diggers, their tunnels are often found in the banks of rivers and lakes around Valoran. Sahasa kubrow have been tamed by several city-states as police kubrow, and serve as excellent search-and-rescue animals due to their incredibly strong sense of smell and even stronger sense of loyalty. They make fantastic pets.

Sunika Kubrow are found exclusively in the icy wastes of the Freljord. Growing to almost the same size as ponies or bears, their thick fur is sought-after by Freljord citizens to make clothing and blankets. Living in large packs of up to twenty individuals, they are easy to tame but only when found at a young age. Wild Sunika kubrows are incredibly dangerous and show absolutely no fear in the face of any opposition, be it human, Iceborn, or wild animal. Sunika kubrows have the strength and tenacity of wolverines - if wolverines were the size of grizzly bears and hunted in packs.