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Aaark

An image of an aaark, showing the long neck, small head, hump and decorative plumage.

The aaark is a large quadraped from the planet Ageriul. It is the planet's largest yet land animal, weighing in at 50 tons and being 30 metres long. It managed to reach such sizes in a relatively short period of evolutionary time (from being deer-sized to sauropod-sized in about 15 million years) due to having the much more efficient quadrapedality, letting it have a larger gut (the average herbivorous pseudotetrapod is restricted by having to balance the guts on two legs, making it easier to stay small) and giving it the stability to muscle other herbivores out of the way. It shares the same continent as the Alhtuputh, which is in the middle of a quadrapedal revolution.

BiologyEdit

The aaark is much heavier, pound for pound, than the average sauropod. This is due to having no airsacs and rocky bones. It has a fatty hump covered in brightly-coloured quills, which is used to display the animal's health to other aaarks. Like many of the other quadrapedal herbivores (newcomer israphels excluded), it lives in mated pairs and keeps its young in a creche that follows its every gargantuan step. Occasionaly, they will stop, and one will expose the skin of its abdomen to its young. This skin is ravenously devoured by the hungry chicks. In a similar manner to caecelians, an aaark will use a special patch of loose skin to feed the young. This skin contains all that is needed for a growing youngster, and enables both mother and father to nurse 12 or so mouths. The aaark has a tail similar to that of the Urahobs, and the quadrapedal herbivores and the Urahob's relatives are sister clades.

They have a small head and cranium, with much of it devoted to the jaws. They have a very sharp beak, suited to slicing through large, broad leaves. Their legs are arranged in a lower-front, upper-back manner, using a limb-bone-turned-hip like the israphels. They are one of the few creatures that alhtupuths are wary of, since they are four times longer than them and many times heavier. They propell themselves mainly with their front legs.

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