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Snow leopard caribou

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Water Tribe emblem

The snow leopard caribou is a large feline used primarily as a mount by warriors in the Southern Water Tribe.[1]

Anatomy

The snow leopard caribou is characterized by a relatively stocky build, thick white fur, and short ears, all of which are adaptations that minimize heat loss and make the snow leopard caribou well-suited for living in the tundras of the South Pole. Throughout its body, the coat is dotted by semi-large black open rosettes, while the face is covered by smaller black spots.

In addition, the snow leopard caribou has a short muzzle and a domed forehead, allowing it to adequately breathe the thin, cold air characteristic of polar regions. Snow leopard caribou also have two large brown antlers and wide feet bearing crescent-shaped, cloven hooves that aid travel in deep snow. Like other cervids, snow leopard caribou have short, blunt tails.

As with all other big cats, snow leopard caribou have sharpened canines and a dental formula consistent with that of other obligate carnivores.[1]

Behavior

Snow leopard caribou have the same predatory instincts as most big cats but can be tamed adequately enough to serve as cavalry mount. However, these creatures can be distracted from their task when motivated by food.[1]

Connection

The snow leopard caribou exhibits a combination of both classic feline and cervid morphology. More specifically, the creature bears a large resemblance to the snow leopard in terms of general build and dietary adaptations, while bearing a resemblance to the caribou in terms of size and locomotive adaptations. Snow leopard caribou also sport shared features between the two groups that confer survival in polar climates, primarily involving a thick coat, a shortened muzzle, and limbs to aid travel in snow.

Trivia

  • The snow leopard caribou is the second known leopard variant in the Water Tribes, the other being the polar leopard, a known predator of turtle seals.[2]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 DiMartino, Michael Dante; Konietzko, Bryan; Yang, Gene (writer), Sasaki of Gurihiru (penciling, inking), Kawano of Gurihiru (colorist), Heisler, Michael; Comicraft (letterer). North and South Part 1 (September 27, 2016), Dark Horse Comics.
  2. O'Bryan, John (writer) & MacMullan, Lauren (director). (April 28, 2006). "Avatar Day". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 2. Episode 5. Nickelodeon.

See also

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