Baanz are one of Adylheim's oddest looking creatures. Its neck is usually the length of its body or longer, and has no definite head-end. It does, however, have a mouth-end, with its neck ending in a single mouth ringed with several rows of blunt teeth and leathery, bluish lips (the baanz is Adylheim's, perhaps the world's only jawless land mammal. Jawless fish such as hagfish and lampreys exist in the deep ocean, but the baanz is the only land-roaming mammal with no jaws to speak of, though its mouth is very strong, and large enough to encompass a human head). It has, far inside its mouth, a small protrusion that acts as a tongue to push food into the esophagus. Its brain is almost directly above this mouth, and is very small. The baanz's back comes to a camel-like hump between the shoulders, and slopes steadily downward into a foot-long tail at its hindquarters. Its legs taper from thick at the top to skinny at the foreleg, and end altogether in cloven hooves. Its fur is typically very thick, wiry, and brown, much like a bear's. Baanz have no eyes, relying entirely on scent-glands below their mouths to get where they're going, and feeling their way around with their necks. As such, they are obviously very slow-moving.
Habitat/Distribution[edit | edit source]
Chiefly the seasonal forests of Starkwater and the two southern fiefdoms. They are often bunched up together, as there is no territorial issue, and though they often graze together as a social means, they otherwise only come together to mate and migrate.
Food[edit | edit source]
Herbivores. Normally eat leaves and grass, and though they can subsist on bark when things get desperate in the winter, it wreaks havoc on their digestive systems. Unless bark is eaten in small frequent amounts, a large amount consumed by a baanz at once often causes intestinal blockage and can harm its inner tissues, sometimes resulting in death. Lucky enough, while a baanz's brain is relatively small, they know better than to eat too much at once-- unless they are absolutely starving.
Size[edit | edit source]
A typical male baanz can grow to four feet tall and five feet long. Females are normally the same size, though they may sometimes be smaller. It should be noted that southern baanz are smaller by up to two feet either way, as leafy vegetation is easier to access by shorter animals.
Reproduction[edit | edit source]
Mating occurs in the late fall, birthing in spring. Females give birth to live young, usuallyonly one at a time, though sometimes up to three at once. Young baanz are referred to as "pups".
Temperament[edit | edit source]
Baanz are normally very shy and very harmless. However, cases often arise when a baanz is infected with "Baanz rabies", a type of parasitic fungus that infiltrates their brains (also see the Cordyceps fungus in tropical rainforests) and causes them to go mad and become violent. It should be noted that baanz are extremely dangerous when enraged as such, and that their mouth is strong enough to crush a human skull. Don't let an angry baanz near your head.
Predators[edit | edit source]
Baanz are very rarely targeted by any animal other than bipedal ones, because they have good defense with their strong mouths.
Mutations[edit | edit source]
General mutations (albinism and the like). Baanz are also subject to size mutations, and while these are normally a simple matter of one or two feet lengthwise or heightwise, there have been [uncomfirmed] reports of baanz growing up to a massive twelve feet tall and twelve feet long. What's more, these gargantuan baanz can apparently speak.
Relatives[edit | edit source]
The baanz is a very singular animal, and as such, has no known relatives.
Habits[edit | edit source]
The baanz only migrates a little further south into Arameian woodlands during the winter, and it goes in search of good sheltering places upon arrival. This is often the only time baanz closely mingle on a regular basis.