Native Fauna of Nouvelle Provence
Mâchoire (French: "Jaw"): The jaw is a particularly large and ill-tempered freshwater predator. It is roughly similar in overall shape to a pike or gar, but with a huge hinged jaw, full of needle-sharp teeth. Adults can attain sizes up to 3 metres in length, if allowed to grow for ten or more years in a food-rich environment, and very old specimens can grow even larger. Its various localised sub-families come in a variety of camouflaged patterns, usually in stripes. The fish are distributed among the river systems of Nouvelle Provence, but are commonest in the Congeuve, especially in its vast delta region. Here they are able to lurk amongst the vegetation and have a large range of prey to choose from. The truly enormous jaws of the Mâchoire can inflict a fatal injury with only one bite, so swimmers are advised not to enter the water in areas commonly inhabited by them. Since they live in swampy delta regions or in major river channels this is not usually a problem, but occasionally rogue specimens enter human frequented stretches of the riverbank. One notorious individual plagued the city of Lancon-Nouvelle-Provence for several months, killing 5 people and injuring 17 before being killed. This level of ferocity and notoriety has made the Mâchoire a much-prized game fish and expeditions regularly ply the waterways hunting them. However, their innate cunning and the difficulties of the habitat mean they are rarely caught and are under no great threat from human hunters, suffering more from pollution and loss of habitat.
When a Provençal fisherman mutters to you about Crapauds he is not commenting on the quality of your French! In fact he is using the local term for the numerous species of amphibians found throughout Nouvelle Provence. Crapaud is the French word for a toad, and the origin of the Tiranais use of the word is to be found with the largest known species, the Crapaud Tiranais. These enormous creatures croak in exactly the same way as terrestrial frogs and toads, but are proportionately louder. They do so by means of large sacks of loose skin under their chins, which form croaking noises for social reasons. Given these remarkable similarities to Earth amphibians the name for a toad was transferred. Later it became clear that the other Crapaud species were devoid of the croaking sack, but by then the name had stuck. It should also be noted that there are no frog analogues per se, and the usual Crapaud looks like a huge salamander. For this reason they are often called Hellbenders by English speakers. However, the similarities are very superficial, the Tiranian amphibians are much more specialised and advanced than their Earth counter-parts. They fall into two distinct sub-groups, the Crapauds Rouges ("Red Toads") who are meat eaters, and the Crapauds Verts ("Green Toads") who are herbivorous. Both groups are strongly represented within the Provençal ecosystem. For example meat-eaters fill the crocodile niche of amphibious ambush predators and plant-eaters fulfil the same functions as Earth Cirenians (Dugongs, manatees, etc). They are found in both salt and fresh water right across the continent of arcadie and beyond.
Crapaud Tiranais (French: "Tiranian Toad"): The Crapaud Tiranais was the first of the giant amphibians to be studied in any detail, and it was this species that lent its name to the entire family. It was the terrific croaking bellow of the animals on land that led to the belief that all Tiranais amphibians were like terrestrial toads and frogs in terms of their croaking calls. This subsequently turned out not to be true, but the name had stuck. The Crapaud is a huge animal around 10 metres in length and weighing many tonnes. They fill a similar ecological niche to the extinct Terran Stellar’s Sea Cow, grazing on the extensive coastal weed beds of the northern coasts. Their lifestyle means the creatures are commonly seen floating in coastal waters, often right up near the shore. Some beaches boast viewing tours and visitors are encouraged to touch the docile and placid Crapauds. However, at one time it is inadvisable to approach them and that is when they drag their enormous grey-blue bodies ashore to mate. This usually takes place in the isolated northern islets of the Bijagos island chain. Here males become aggressive and hordes of amphibians jostle for beach-space and breeding rights. At such times the spectacular sight can be watched from popular charter boat rides, especially out of Bafoussam.
Crochet (French: "Snake’s Fang"): Crochets are the largest known examples of Crapauds Rouges. They are around 7 metres long and inhabit various regions, although primarily in brackish water such as river deltas and lakes. A seagoing sub-species preys extensively on Crapauds Tiranais off the northern coast. Equipped with a head as large as Tyrannosaurus Rex the Crochet is not to be underestimated! The animals are ambush predators and generally lurk at the bottom of shallow water waiting for substantial prey to approach. They are adept at hiding as their mud-brown and olive green colouring renders them camouflaged in the swampy depths. Indeed so well hidden and dangerous are they that whole areas are unsafe to swim in, although the main coastal resorts deploy nets and other devices to keep them out. Elsewhere hunters eagerly seek them out and often undertake scuba diving expeditions to track them down in their natural habitat. This is extremely dangerous and inadvisable, but appeals to the more daring sportsman! Extensive hunting and persecution has slashed the numbers found around inhabited regions and is eating into those of accessible wilderness regions as hunters branch out. The marine variety are still common and it is possible to get spotting flights out of northern towns which skim over clear shallows looking for the tell-tale silhouettes of the monstrous carnivores.
Dilali: Dilali is a ubiquitous small Crapaud Rouge. It is only about 80cm long and hunts smaller prey than its larger relative the Crochet. Unlike the bigger species the Dilali hunts by speed and stealth, lurking among murky waters and amongst weeds then chasing prey with lightning bursts of speed. Its colouring is usually mottled brown and its murky world is evidenced by the comparatively large and alarmingly featureless jet black eyes. Although common to all the rivers and lakes of the continent the creatures are occasionally more of a nuisance than humans deem acceptable. This tends to be around fish-farming areas, where the Dilali launches raids against the precious stocks. As a consequence the creature is widely persecuted and is finding its range increasingly restricted.
Maipolina: Although somewhat smaller than the Crochet (no specimens longer than 6 metres have been found) the Maipolina is regarded as the most feared and deadly aquatic predator in Nouvelle Provence. This is because the usual prey species of the Maipolina are large aquatic browsers, which usually lumber around in the shallows. They are not as swift as the Crochet and boast an even more formidable set of jaws. As a consequence they are drawn to large, slow prey, which sadly tends to include humans. The jaws of the beast are so powerful that almost any bite that connects with human prey is fatal. The tremendous power of the bite severs any limbs and will slice the trunk in two. Therefore, attacks by this creature are to be avoided at all costs, especially as the bite is also mildly poisonous. As the consummate Provençal ambush predator, Maipolina hides just offshore and then strikes with its lethal jaws. It is so adept that it is impossible to spot and gives no trace of its presence, even when it moves. Many travellers have reported seeing large Mbilintu suddenly brought down without warning. Fortunately Maipolina tends to kill large prey which satisfy its hunger for several days, the corpses being dragged into deep water and devoured slowly. So within each territorial area only a few prey are taken every year. However, this is no comfort to those whose relatives have fallen victim! The other fortunate factor is that the Maipolina is restricted in its range to the lower reaches of the Congeuve river. Since this is primarily uninhabited delta it has little contact with humans. Still there are those who traverse these areas and they must exercise extreme caution. Unsurprisingly the animal is little hunted, not only is it extraordinarily dangerous it is also very difficult to locate. There are a very small number of hunters who do track and kill Maipolina, but they are regarded as lunatics by more sensible sportsmen. There is a Club Maipolina de Nouvelle Provence at Dakar which organises regular trips down to the Congeuve delta.
Ndyoko: Ndyoko are large, amphibious browsers and the commonest of the Crapauds Verts. In shape and habitat they resemble terrestrial manatees and dugongs, slow moving browsers that drift along the waterways and coasts of Tirane. Unlike manatees, however, they are salamander like in appearance and boast large expressionless black eyes. There are numerous sub-species making up the Ndyoko group, both fresh and salt water large and small (although none approaching the size of the Crapaud Tiranais). Colourings vary widely according to habitat and the creatures are found in every waterway and coastal region of Nouvelle Provence. In many places they are to be seen bobbing along the surface (they usually float along the surface, or just below, browsing) in such numbers that it is supposedly possible to walk across their backs and ford rivers without getting your feet wet. In truth large gatherings occur only in large bodies of brackish water, such as lakes and meandering rivers. A few of the sub-species are very palatable (although most aren’t) and are served in avant garde restaurants, a fashion which has not taken widespread hold as yet, and plans are afoot to introduce commercial rearing and export off-world. The meat is very nutritious and tasty as well as being low in fat.
Tourneur (French: "Spinner"): This creature is unlike any Earth species, as it fulfils the role of the smaller mammalian predators such as weasels and polecats. They are harmless to humans and actually quite beneficial as they catch vermin and keep down infestations. However, since they are close visual analogues to large tarantulas (large being up to one metre across and weighing several kilograms) they tend to be highly unnerving if not actually repulsive to human eyes. Of course like other Tiranian ‘arachnids’ they have a totally different biology and only look like spiders, but the feelings of fear and disgust are too deep-rooted in the human psyche to be removed easily. Still they continue to exist in large numbers and in many different types, throughout the whole of Arcadie. Almost every type is able to spin webs, another uncanny similarity, which was the source of the name, and use them to set up traps. With such comparatively big spinners the webs can be very large and are ubiquitous to all areas of the colony. This single factor is probably the most disquieting to newcomers. They give the appearance that the whole continent is overrun with enormous spiders, an idea that is essentially true. It should be noted though, that the Tourneur has never been known to attack humans. Needless to say some unfortunate accidents have occurred but the natural prey of the spinners are far smaller than people and they simply do not have any reason to attack humans. It is also true that as a whole the various species are timid and hide from man. It is usual for a house to have a few (usually the smaller types, the size of rats) who leave webs and catch pests but are never seen. There are no giant spiders lurking at the centre of webs, the structures have no obvious owners as the Tourneurs keep out of sight waiting for a catch. Human disquiet and blind persecution keeps the urban numbers down but the countryside is positively crawling with these harmless but menacing looking animals.
Aquile (French "Eagle"): The Aquile is a specialised Drukey hunter, common and successful right across the colony. They resemble noting more than a small pterodactyl, with skin flaps for wings and small reptilian looking bodies. However, they are mammal analogues and have fur and warm blood. Their closest terrestrial equivalent is a large raptor, such as a buzzard or eagle, and they live similar lives. Most types hunt primarily Drukeys, but all are also partial to small ground animals and other fliers. In order to catch their primary prey they tend to inhabit the higher treetops and patrol at low altitude looking out for flocks.
Griot: A particularly endearing yet annoying variant of the Drukey, the Griot is known as a Chattering Monkey among the people of Nouvelle Provence. It is one of the Provençal varieties that are more ground than air based. These species are poor gliders and rely more on their arboreal agility, rather like Earth monkeys, yet they are undoubtedly Drukeys. The Griot is a superb mimic and is naturally friendly to humans. They are drawn to human settlements where they take up residence in roof spaces, outhouses and other locations. Once ensconced they hang around people imitating their speech and scavenging food. Since the average Griot is around a metre tall they are quite large and can cause lots of damage. Fortunately the range of the creatures is restricted to the tropical belt across central southern Nouvelle Provence and even here several chemical and natural remedies have been deployed which will keep the animals away from human habitations. There are large flocks to be found in the wild and these will gravitate towards any humans in the area. Plans are afoot to market Griots as pets, a role to which they are eminently suited as long as they can be taught not to cause extensive damage in their owners’ homes!
Mépriseur (French: "Scorner"): The Scorner is a larger relative of the Griot, a large (2 metre tall) arboreal Drukey. They are distributed more widely than their cousins and are to be found in woodlands all over the colony, where they form large family groups. Mépriseurs are very distinctive animals, bright purple in colour and with a huge vocal range. It is this aural assault which earned the Scorner its name. Large animals approaching the Mépriseur family will be greeted by a tremendous chorus of noise, which is deeply reminiscent of a mob hurling abuse. This is very disconcerting and tends to have the desired effect in driving off intruders! So unpleasant is this calling that rich residents have taken to employing troupes to patrol their estates, setting up a startling hubbub if anyone trespasses. Despite this it is generally considered inadvisable to try to make pets of Mépriseurs, as they are quite large and unpredictable, not to mention offensive.
Singerie (French: "Antic"): This is the most common Provençal species of Drukey. It is similar to Drukeys found elsewhere on Tirane, but is a minor sub-species. It is primarily differentiated from its fellows by its slightly larger size and some differences in facial features, musculature and other minor and obscure factors obvious only to experts. It is common throughout the colony, in numerous localised varieties and fills the same niches as the Drukeys on other continents. Particularly large flocks are found throughout the Pays Verdant region with its extensive rainforest. In many areas Singeries are regarded as pests and culled to reduce numbers.
There are several important and interesting local types of herbivore. For example: the N’Dana family, a group of pig-like animals which fills the niches occupied on Earth by pigs, tapirs and buffalo. They are found right across the continent with smaller forest species and larger plains dwellers. The most common species has been tagged the Sanglier (French: "Wild Boar") and is found throughout forested areas of Nouvelle Provence, rooting among the floor debris for food.
There is a large family of long-necked mammalian sauropod analogues. Whilst smaller and more restricted in numbers and extent than the sauropods of dinosaur-era Earth they are nonetheless an impressive sight and have acquired the epithet of simply Géant (French: "Giant"). They are also frequently referred to as Perches (French: "Poles"). Among their number are both land and semi-aquatic species and the creatures exist by browsing whether among the treetops, in bushes or along the sides of watercourses.
The Dranta family, absolutely ubiquitous to all parts of the planet, is well-represented on Arcadie and has diversified into numerous gigantic forms, known collectively as Gigantas. In French the family as a whole is termed Dranté, but this simply means Dranta as they are known everywhere else on the planet.
Badigui: The most common and best-recognised of the land-dwelling mammo-sauropods is the Badigui, a massive and truly impressive creature around 14 metres in length and 35 tonnes in weight. They resemble nothing more than a Jurassic sauropod of the more stocky variety, although they are furry and their heads are more bovine. Still the herds of up to 50 of the creatures that roam the plains and forest margins are incredibly impressive. Many tourists travel kilometres just to see them. The shaking of the ground, clouds of dust and tumultuous trumpeting cries make the spectacle awe-inspiring. However, in truth the Badigui and its ilk are a dying breed, they were rare even before the arrival of humans and are clearly animals dwindling as their epoch has passed. They face competition from smaller more efficient species and are restricted to a few thousand individuals and those only in the optimum habitats. Populations are largely isolated and declining in viability. So in the Badigui’s case humanity’s advent has been a godsend. IEX scientists have captured several and are actively intervening to ensure the survival of the species. Other rarer species are likewise under observation and undergoing active programmes of assistance. Pictures of the beast are everywhere and it has become something of a Provençal icon, a badge of identity and cause celebre. It symbolises the individuality of the continent of Arcadie, which retains the giants who have died out elsewhere and been replaced with smaller elephantine herbivores.
Demi (French: "Half-Back"): Most Provençal herbivores are quadrupeds, with the notable exception of the various species of Demi. These animals got their name when rugby-playing Frenchmen noted their tremendous speed and agility, weaving away from predators and adopting numerous evasion strategies. Thus they were likened to half-backs and the name has stuck. The creatures are divided into two main groups: the taller plains-dwellers and the shorter forest-dwellers. Both types bear the same physical characteristics, a round body atop two long, flexible legs and no discernible upper limbs, all topped off with a long, flexible neck and a long-snouted head. The plains varieties can be up to 3 metres tall, using their long necks to crop the upper leaves. Their height and long legs enable them to look out for and outpace predators. In forests they are shorter to enable them to twist among the trees, dodging acrobatically amongst the foliage. All varieties are well-camouflaged and boast extremely acute eyesight and hearing. None, however, are much sought after for eating as they are all but devoid of edible meat, only a few of the larger types are caught and eaten and then only rarely. In other areas they are a nuisance and so numerous that they need to be culled to cut down their numbers.
Irisi: One of a number of gigantiform species of Dranta, Irisi are large grazers common to many ecological areas of Nouvelle Provence. They resemble large, bulky Drantas and are clearly related, although they fulfil a different ecological function. The various Gigantas are mostly forest browsers, like elk on Earth, although they also exist in mountain and plains forms. Many sub-species are unhorned, but the Irisi boast massive branching antlers for defence and for digging for roots, since Irisi are a forest variety and dig among the woodland floor. Smaller types are more akin in size to Drantas but are bulkier and serve the role of goats and buffalo. A few are now being hunted for food and the idea of farming has come into vogue.
Massaude (French: "Gloomy"): The Massaude is so-called because its armoured face looks like a perpetual scowl. It is the Provençal equivalent of a rhinoceros, although it is more versatile and boasts a wider habitat. The average adult attains 4 metres in length and around 2 tonnes in weight, much of it accounted for by heavy leathery armoured plates. They are usually brown or grey in colour, although many have pie-bald blotches and there seem to be high incidences of albinism and melanism. Massuades are common throughout the colony, excluded only from the mountains and deserts. There are groups in the swamps, others in the forests and many roaming the plains. Oddly they have varying social structures in different regions, some gather into herds others stay solitary and some exist in small family groups. However, wherever they are found it is universally acknowledged that they are foul tasting and inedible. Thus they have escaped the clutches of the gastronomes who plague other Provençal species, although many are killed for sport and their heads are common trophies on the walls of hunters.
Mbilintu: The name Mbilintu refers to any of a number of lake-dwelling mammo-sauropod species. All of these creatures lurk among the waters of lakes and slower rivers, cropping the extremely lush vegetation at the edges. They are smaller than land-dwelling varieties and rarely attain more than 8 metres in length and 18 tonnes in weight. Nonetheless they fear only the Maipolina and the Crochet. These creatures are protected by law and live unmolested in their habitats across the continent, but are most common around the margins of Lac L’Oeil, where there are several colonies of the largest species. Their haunting cries and impressive physical presence make the lake take on a positively antediluvian atmosphere, especially when early morning mists descend and smother the waters at dawn.
Salope (French: "Tart"): The Salope is so-named because of its incredible fecundity. Early settlers observed that the females matured quickly and bred promiscuously with numerous males, thus sparking the association. The nickname stuck and now extends to all the similar Provençal sub-species of Dranté. There are minor differences between Arcadian Drantas and those of other areas, primarily in terms of ear shape and limb length, and of course the Arcadian species are even more fecund and numerous than their relatives. Certainly Arcadian Drantas are different enough to be recognised amongst the planet’s other Drantas, but are very clearly the same animal. The Salope are primarily browsers of the plains and savannahs of Arcadie, although some types inhabit hills, semi-deserts and the more open woodland.
Sanglier (French: "Wild Boar"): By far the most common forest herbivore in the colony, Sangliers are large and pig-like beasts. If one removed their fur and narrowed their shovel like mouths into snouts they would be all but indistinguishable from Earth pigs. As it is the species are distributed right across the colony, primarily in forested regions, where they act as scavengers, but also in many other habitats. The largest specimens are to be found in the rainforests, reaching up to 3 metres in length and a tonne in weight. Just like terrestrial boars the Sanglier males are very savage and sport large tusks. These creatures are tough fighters and attract numerous hunters. Also like Earth pigs, Sangliers are very tasty and much sought after for food, although domestication has proven impractical. Therefore, those found on restaurant menus are wild specimens, which accounts for their high price. Current research into domestication and management is underway at IEX in Mirambeau.
Tortue (French: "Tortoise"): The Tortue is a uniquely Provençal animal, found nowhere else on Tirane. It is a massive armoured grazer, similar to an Ankylosaur, although more akin in appearance to the Megalodonts of South America. It is a huge shambling creature with a set of leathery plates on its tail, head and limbs and a massive carapace over its back. These defences make it essentially impervious to attack, even by the mighty Fon. These animals patrol the margins of the forests and scrubland areas, cropping the bushes and small trees. Since they are heavily armoured and massive they move slowly, ambling at little more than human walking pace along their well-trodden food-gathering routes. Usually solitary they come together only to mate, as the young are vulnerable to attack and need protection. As a consequence both parents stay together to defend their offspring, at which times they are extremely dangerous, threatening to trample any who dare approach their child. A mother usually gives birth to only a single young, and the maturing process takes half of the entire Grand Season of Spring, with no further breeding until the end of the succeeding GrandWinter. Thus the animals are very slow breeders and are protected by local law, since their slow cycle renders them uniquely vulnerable to depletion from hunting. Trips to see these 10 metre long, 30 tonne monsters are widely available and well worth the effort.
Perhaps the most interesting aspect of Nouvelle Provence’s carnivores is the diverse forms they utilise. As well as the familiar four-legged predators of the type found on Earth there are also a plethora of two-legged ones as well. The most notable local family is that of the Babouins Carnés, or carnivorous baboons, colloquially referred to as Babocarnés or Babookahs. These creatures are so-called because they bear a facial resemblance to terrestrial baboons, albeit with a mouth full of tusk-like teeth and red eyes! Otherwise they are best compared to theropod dinosaurs, long and balanced with powerful tails and armed primarily with teeth, as their front limbs are atrophied. The resemblance is uncanny but Babocarnés are bulkier, more upright in posture and covered with fur. They also occupy only the medium and large predator slots, since swift four-legged running hunters tend to fill the small predator niches. Thus they tend to be high in the food chain and to be confident and aggressive animals. Many a human has learnt the hard way that they are extremely dangerous and not to be trifled with!
Afanc: The Tiranian Bear (known in French as the "Ours Tiranais") is a common sight in Nouvelle Provence, existing in the role of omnivorous scavenger and predator throughout the ecosystem. They are commonly hunted and are even known to enter human settlements and scavenge through refuse.
Broche (French: "Skewer"): Broches are small Babocarnés of the plains. They are considerably smaller than the Fon and very swift runners. However, their primary asset is their prodigious leaping ability. They use this to pounce upon prey and get at their vulnerable areas. They are also equipped with fully functional upper arms with large claws to cling onto their prey. The Broche hunts alone and is active for long periods without rest, patrolling constantly in its attempt to track down food. The species is distributed widely across the enormous plains of central Nouvelle Provence, and is still common right across the area. Within this wide swathe there are several varieties with subtly different colouring. All however, tend towards dusty tan shades or stripes of darker brown on an ochre or sand coloured backing. At only around 2 metres tall they are similar in height to humans and very small for Babocarnés. However, they are very light, only around 60 kilograms and tend not to tackle humans, preferring the smaller Dranta or Demi species. As a result they are rarely perceived as a threat and are left alone so long as they steer clear of livestock and urban areas.
Démon (French: "Fiend"): The Démon is a close relative of the Afanc, but is far more fearsome. It is similar in shape, but with a hyena-like long snout equipped with truly impressive jaws. They are similar in habit and appearance to the extinct giant hyenas of Earth prehistory, although they are a very dark brown like that of Earth black panthers with the same barely visible darker spots. Unfortunately they add a wolverine like ferocity to their deadly armament and are feared by humans throughout the colony. Démons fulfil the role of carrion eater and hijacker below that of the Fon, but with elements of bear’s omnivorous and all-round attributes. Their enormous jaws are used to crush and render edible the bones of large herbivores, bones that are left by other species as too hard to eat. Luckily they are rare and tend to be nocturnal which restricts their interaction with humans. This does not prevent them being feared and superstitious legends springing up around them.
Fon (Bamileke: "Chief"): The Fon is the largest and most impressive of all the Provençal carnivores, the biggest and most powerful of the immense two-legged Babocarnés. It is best described as a nightmare cross between a baboon and a Tyrannosaurus Rex, except with a mouth full of razor sharp tusks and glowing red eyes! In size it roughly approximates the T-Rex, around 10 metres long, but stockier at about 5 tonnes in weight. Its outline is also similar, with small front limbs, a long balancing tail and a huge, terrifying maw, bristling with teeth. However, the Fon has a more upright posture, is stockier with a smaller tail and is covered by fur. All adult specimens boast a large mane or ruff of fur around the neck and a ridge of tufty hair along the spine. All sport camouflage, which varies slightly across the range. Like baboons Fons have heavy beetling brows, overshadowing their eyes, although in the case of the Fon the eyes are a truly menacing dull glowing scarlet, pinpoints of malevolent light from the dark recesses of its face! These animals are the primary land predators of the continent and exist right across the ecology, with the exception of dense woods, desert or mountains. Elsewhere they reign supreme and strike fear into all creatures. However, since they are so huge they are slow and tend to act as hijackers or attackers of the very large slow herbivores. Often they exist for long periods on carrion. As wonderfully impressive and evocative animals they are a symbol of Nouvelle Provence, yet they are deeply endangered. As terribly dangerous predators they must be kept away from human settlements and the early settlers were zealous in doing this, so much so that they vanished from large areas of their range. Nowadays they are protected and allotted numerous preserves. Still, however, they decline since there is nothing the state can do to prevent them being shot in ‘self-defence’. It would hardly be reasonable to expect people not to defend themselves against such a terror, but the incidence is alarmingly common. Clearly hunters use this as an excuse and numbers have dipped to an estimated 1500. Fons naturally need a large range and were not common before the advent of man. Yet there should be a population of somewhere between 20,000 and 35,000. IEX are currently actively engaged in breeding programmes and other measures to save the majestic "Roi d’Arcadie".
Gatto: The Gatto is the most common predator in all Nouvelle Provence, a feline, cat-analogue with a wide range of adaptability. It is found all around the colony, coming in several regional variants. Whilst Gattos lose out in some environments to the more specific and adapted predators they are flexible and thrive nearly everywhere. As such they are the prime threat to human livestock and are often culled for bounties.
Hadjel: Hadjel are large relatives of the Gatto that inhabit mountain and rugged regions across Arcadie. They have very cat-like bodies, but with enormous sabre-teeth like the terrestrial Smilodon. They use this fierce armament to reign supreme as the chief predators in their habitats. They lurk in ambush among the mountain boulders and predate the larger alpine species. However, they are shy and keep away from humans, so they are rarely seen. So timid are they that rumours of their existence went unproven for decades after the colony’s foundation, until a corpse was found having fallen into a valley. The adult Hadjel attains the size of a Siberian Tiger and is formidable both in combat ability and its mastery of the uplands. The pelt is marked much like a terrestrial Clouded Leopard and is in great demand among high-fashion clothing designers. Supply remains extremely limited though as the creature’s combination of timidity and great evasive ability render its hunters at a severe disadvantage.
Meute Meurtrière (French: "Murderous Pack"): A pack variety of Babocarné, the Meumeur is a man-sized pack hunter found all over the colony. They are unusual in that they operate as a family group and co-operate to bring down large prey. This style is versatile and has allowed the species to move into every habitat and region. Thus packs of between 3 and 10 individuals stake out territories all across Nouvelle Provence. The exact appearance of the animals varies according to their exact locale, tending towards appropriate camouflage. They share the Fon’s glowing red eyes and look alarmingly like humanoid demons in the half-light of dawn or dusk. Fortunately these cunning predators usually attack large prey and shy away from humans. Evidence suggests a sophisticated social structure and a complicated structure of territories and interaction among different groups.