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|By DragonGirl028||Part of thecontinuity.|
The armadillo hare is a hybrid creature that existed in the era of Raava and into the era of the Avatar. It is often kept as a pet, as evidenced by Qiú, who was raised by during the early years of the era of the Avatar.
The armadillo hare is a small, four-legged mammal with the overall appearance of a hare, and the armor plating, tail, and fore claws of a nine-banded armadillo. Its entire backside, from the bridge of the nose down to the tail, is covered in an armor made of an outer shell composing of ossified dermal scutes, covered by non-overlapping, keratinized epidermal scales, which are connected by flexible bands of skin. It is primarily light brown in color, except for its gray-brown armor, white underbelly, and pink inner surface of the pinna (the latter due to the abundance of blood vessels in the area).
Biology and Ecology
The armadillo hare is found in warm, rainy environments, as well as the scrublands and open prairies of the proto-Earth Kingdom. It lives in burrows, which it can either excavate itself, or take residence in a once-abandoned burrow, using its fore claws to refine or expand the tunnel.
The armadillo hare is omnivorous, feeding mostly on grasses, ferns, buds, ants, and worms. Occasionally, they may also feed on tubers. The armadillo hare has a remarkable sense of smell and can detect ants and worms through up to eight inches of soil. The claws found on its forepaws are used to dig through the dirt to retrieve prey items. The armadillo hare gets most of its water from its food.
The armadillo hare is solitary, in which one male's territory overlaps several females. Disputes between both sexes are settled by clawing and chasing. The armadillo hare does not hibernate and is mostly nocturnal. When frightened or faced against a predator, the armadillo hare will primarily defend itself by curling into a ball so that its armor completely shields it. Despite its somewhat awkward appearance, the armadillo hare is rather versatile, and can run at speeds up to 35 miles per hour, and jump several feet high into the air.
The armadillo hare is polygamous, and females bare a litter of 3-8 young in late spring. The young are precocial, and sexual dimorphism is experienced, in which the females are larger than the males.
The armadillo hare's coloration and overall physiology resemble those of a hare, while its armor, tail, and fore claws resemble those of a nine-banded armadillo.
- Contrary to popular belief, the only real-world armadillos to have the ability to curl into a ball for protection are the three-banded armadillos (genus Tolypeutes) of which there are two species, as opposed to the better-known and more widespread nine-banded armadillo (Dasypus novemcinctus) from which the armadillo hare is partially based.
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