The hipponox of Foenara are known for their ruggedness, living in herds guarded by aggressive matriarchs that ensure few predators would dare go after their young. However, there is one animal that specializes in hunting the winged unicorns, a creature that lures an isolated adult or adolescent by mimicking a rival: the pseudonox. Built more like a wolf or lion, a pseudonox has long hairs on its fetlocks, a prominent horn, and large webbed wings, and from a distance in the shadows of the Grass Forest, one could easily mistake them for their prey. Most striking is their ability to mimic the calls of the hipponox, even taking on the particular intonations of certain individuals. They hunt by attracting the attention of hipponox that wander from the herd, acting like a member from a rival herd encroaching on their territory. The hipponox will usually snort and stamp to avoid conflict, to which the pseudonox will escalate the situation, sounding like a weaker individual. As they are slightly smaller and more delicate than true hipponox, their prey will often believe a fight to be easily won, and so will chase after the rival. When the pseudonox has lured them sufficiently far from the herd, their pack mates will come in from behind and bring the hipponox down together.
This gray-green egg smells slightly damp.
A young pseudonox does not closely resemble its namesake and future prey; until they start to hunt, they carry themselves like the cubs of any mainland predator. Their ability to mimic noises is exceptional, even from a young age, and they will curiously imitate the calls of many creatures in their grassy homes, not just hipponox. Some think that juveniles are born with the potential to closely imitate any creature just as humans can learn any language when young, while others think broad imitation early in life prepares their vocal chords for the ranges needed to precisely match individual hipponoxes. Whatever the reason, once their adult patterning comes in and they start to aid hunts, they become much more like hipponox in their behavior, walking like them and making sounds almost indistinguishable from the winged unicorns.
Pseudonox are highly reclusive, found only in the furthest depths of the Grass Forest. They hunt best in the thick grass, which obscures their figure enough that even humans frequently mistake them for true hipponox. The creatures live in small family groups of up to six individuals -- any more, and they run the risk of not being able to find enough food. Although they have developed a highly specialized hunting strategy, it only works in the right conditions, as a more experienced hipponox may flee to the safety of their herd at the sight of their main predators or even rally allies to chase off the pseudonoxes. Even in the best of circumstances, a large female hipponox is dangerous prey and most pseudonoxes bear the broken bones and scars of countless bad hunts. As they rely on camouflage to imitate the hipponoxes, the two species of pseudonox will usually only pursue those that they most closely resemble -- buckskin for the lean fulvous pseudonoxes, and grulla for the slightly larger and heavier grizzled pseudonoxes. Between their selective diets and the difficulty in procuring the hipponoxes, they will occasionally supplement their diets with small rodents and reptiles, though these can only tide them over for so long. To make matters worse, it is not unheard of for different groups of pseudonoxes to mistake one another for their prey. While these confrontations usually don't last long, the predators are almost as aggressive toward rival groups as actual hipponoxes. As a result, the population is fairly small and under careful surveillance by Foenaran conservationists.
Obtained from: Donation, Retired
Renaming cost: 20000 gold
Release date: September 1st 2019
Breeds with the following:
Grizzled Pseudonox + Grizzled Pseudonox = Grizzled Pseudonox Cost: 3 shards
Fulvous Pseudonox + Grizzled Pseudonox = Fulvous Pseudonox Cost: 3 shards
Fulvous Pseudonox + Grizzled Pseudonox = Grizzled Pseudonox Cost: 3 shards
September 2019 5-shard Donation Pet
Sprite art: Tekla | Description: PKGriffin