I have a question for you based on one I just answered: How do pallanophs age? What are the physical differences between an elderly 'noph and one in their prime? (If you don't want to answer pallanoph questions right now, you can pretend I asked about aequis instead!)
I didn’t want to answer this ask before I got back to my keyboard and my scanner, so here we go!
Pallanophs have a tendency to age in ways humans might find familiar: the first thing you’ll notice in an aging ‘noph is grey hairs popping up in the eyebrows and around the muzzle once they hit 40. Before long, they may take on a more grizzled appearance as the melanin/pheomelanin production in their coats slows down. Hairs become more brittle and breakage occurs: long manes and feathering along limbs and tails will shorten and appear frayed. In individuals with feathering on their legs, it may break down entirely as they reach extreme old age (80+ years.) Thin spots in their coats may become bare (elbows, wrists, ankles, etc.) Full on balding doesn’t occur, of course, but elderly ‘nophs find bear and moose pelts to be a blessing when comfort is needed. (throw in some toggle closures made of bone and sinew and you’ve got an easy garment for those arthritic bones!)
Speaking of arthritis: pallanophs are big animals, and they are hardly immune to joint pain as their cartilage begins to break down. Aching joints are noticeable for most ‘nophs beginning in their 50′s and 60′s, and by 70 years of age most pallanophs have long since retired from an active lifestyle. Muscle wasting has often set in by this time, and pallanophs acquire an angular and slack silhouette, with a sloping spine, raised scapula, and pelvic landmarks standing out in stark contrast. Waistlines sag, tails droop, and ankles flatten. Joints appear knobby and swollen, and feet tend to be curled in painful positions. Claws often won’t retract, and dewclaws tend to drag/wear on the ground. In addition to cartilage wear and arthritis, collagen and facial cartilage (nose, ears) will droop and sag slightly.
Here are some very old ‘nophs, 80+ years of age. Poultices for arthritic joints are widespread, and individuals usually try to make their own before succumbing to the assistance of others during their final years.
Senses may also decline: the first is usually sense of smell/taste, followed by hearing and occasionally, sight. These aren’t inevitable, but are common symptoms of aging. In more unfortunate cases, memory loss/ neuro-degenerative diseases may occur. For the most part, however, pallanophs keep their sharp wits and memories until death.
(I need to consider this for Aequis too, but for now we’ll keep this comparatively short and about pallanophs for a change!)