|1.2-1.5 m. | 47-59 in.||10-40 kg. | 22-88 lbs.||30-40 years||Fish|
The most striking physical characteristic of the taruciil is their shell, which they are somewhat named for. Indications from study of Jazt’a is that taruciil comes from the words for “hard” and “lizard”, with hard likely referencing the shell. Their other notable feature is their large mouth, which they use to scoop up fish, crushing them against the roof of their mouth with a serrated muscle that functions much like a tongue.
Biology and Behavior
Adults are usually found singly or in pairs. The breeding is rarely observed, but does not appear to be seasonal. The female builds a mound nest out of vegetation and mud somewhere in a concealed location and lays 10 to 25 eggs, hiding them under further vegetation. 90 days later, the eggs hatch. All taruciil eat entirely fish, though they may unknowingly eat smaller aquatic specimen that the fish are in the middle of consuming or preying upon when eaten.
Taruciil are found in forested riverine habitats and areas of flooded forest around lakes. It seems to prefer rivers and streams with fast-flowing water, but it is also found in quiet, nutrient-rich waters around Sha’an farming locations.
Interaction with Omneuttians
Taruciil are hunted by Sha’an not only for their shells, but also for their meat. Several Sha’an populations have been known to render the taruciil extinct on their planet-star, as the Sentient Species is not adept at conservation and population management. Sha’an have also reduced the taruciil population in a number of locations due to competition for the taruciil’s only food source—fish—which the Sha’an also hunt.