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Prehensile-tailed Tree Dragon

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Prehensile tailed tree dragon

Illustration of the Prehensile-tailed Tree Dragon, with extra diagram showing the function of the tail.

The Prehensile-tailed Tree Dragon is a wingless dragon native to Dragovia.

BiologyEdit

Prehensile-tailed Tree Dragons (Tree Dragons for short) are slim and 7 metres long, but half of this length is the tail. They are green with a dappled brown underside - this colouration serves as camouflage. The upper part of the head is darker than the rest of the body, though the reason for this is unknown. The head is also horned, though they are positioned so that they are impossible to use for defence. Their purpose remains a mystery to all but the Tree Dragons themselves.

The jaws of a Tree Dragon are lined with sharp teeth, though it also has a beak. These features allow it to have an omnivorous diet, as explained later on.

Treedragon

Spore version of the Prehensile-tailed Tree Dragon

The feature that gives the Tree Dragon its name is its unusual tail. It is long and thin, though about halfway along a series of bony, orange knobbles protrude from the skin. The Tree Dragon can then wrap the rest of its tail round the knobbles, forming a loop. It uses this ability to hang from trees using its tail only.

Tree Dragons also have evolved to have no wings, since they are not needed when living in trees. Even vestigial wings have long since disappeared.

DietEdit

The strange design of a Tree Dragon's mouthparts allow it to be omnivorous. Its beak can be used to crop tough plants, and break nuts and eggs, while its rows of sharp teeth enable it to kill and eat other animals as well.

A common method of hunting used by Tree Dragons is to hang from a relatively high branch using their tails (see above) and wait for a prey animal to wander underneath them. When this happens, they drop from the tree, using their momentum and body weight to crush the prey animal.

BehaviourEdit

Tree Dragons, as their name suggests, spend a lot of time in trees. Their bones are hollow to make locomotion among the treetops easier, and their bodies have become slimmer and elongated to make this easier, too. However, they are still equally at home on the ground, making them formidable hunters.

They always hunt alone, though will normally tolerate other Tree Dragons in the area, unless they try to use the same hunting spots. The only other time they come together is to mate.

Mating is normally brief. Males put on a show by 'dancing' between the tree branches and showing off their flexibility. The females then choose who they want to mate with. Eggs are laid soon afterwards, in late spring, normally in a fork between two branches or a branch and a trunk. Females have to constantly guard the eggs, so the males do all the hunting during this time. After a couple of months, the eggs hatch into baby Tree Dragons. They are nurtured for a few years, before the females leave to mate again.

HabitatEdit

Tree Dragons live on Tropica, the island on Dragovia made up of tropical forests and beaches. They rarely venture to the shore, preferring the safety of the trees.

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