Swunny are creatures most akin to a cross between a swan and a rabbit and are native to Clo. They're known for having beautiful plumage and fur alike, as well as for having difficult temperaments both in the wilds and as domestic pets.
All Swunny tend to have the following physical characteristics: -Long, swan-like necks -Webbed lapine-like paws with soft pads on the soles of the feet that secrete an oily, aquaphobic substance -Functioning wings -Beaks with small razor teeth, used for both gripping and fighting -Sharp eyes with acute vision -Lapine-like ears which clamp down against the head while submerged in water to seal out moisture and which provide acute hearing
Adolescents are born without their species distinctive colors and patterns; instead, their fluff is in one of five colors - White, Grey, Black, Brown, or Cream. Additionally, their wings are not yet fully developed, and their necks are substantially shorter proportional to their bodies than an adult's neck. Secondary colors and characteristics will appear as the chick molts, and will tend to follow the same patterning as their parents.
Swunny prefer large open areas near large bodies of waters, tending to favor prairies or tundras near lakes, rivers, or oceans. Despite nesting on dry land, this species will spend upwards of 70% of its life in or on the water.
Swunny migrate with the seasons, heading south for the cooler months and north for the warmer months.
Swunny diets consist largely of algae and grasses, supplemented by fish, insects, and small animals as well as fresh greens when available. Young swunny are fed by their parents via regurgitation for the first few months of life.
Behavior and Interaction
Swunny are highly aggressive and intensely territorial, often violently driving out those they consider intruders upon their domain. They routinely fight amongst themselves using their wings, feet, and teeth to kick, batter, and bite each other into submission. Swunny in combat will tend to aim for wings, ears, and throats. Socializing usually consists of grooming one another as well as themselves, especially during mating season when adult Swunny are most focused on courting and impressing other members of their own species. Swunny are intensely vocal, and along with their natural sounds of humming, chirps, and bleats, are known to beat their feet against other surfaces and to imitate noises made by other species such as cats and dogs.
Swunny mate for life, and tend to prefer small family units of 4-6 members. However, during nesting seasons, groups of Swunny swell in numbers to better provide for and protect the newborn chicks, sometimes growing to unmanageable sizes. Additionally, Swunny will only pair off when they are ready to mate and rear a family. While heterosexual pairs are the norm, it's far from uncommon for same-sex pairings to exist. Pairings consisting of two females in this case will entertain a male long enough to be impregnated before violently driving the male away to raise the clutch among themselves, while pairings consisting of two males are known to poach eggs from other nests to hatch and raise as their own.
While they are capable of breeding at any time once reaching sexual maturity, Swunny will rarely mate or reproduce outside of the warm months. Eggs laid outside of the normal season rarely make it to hatching, and of those who do hatch, fewer still will reach adulthood. Clutches average between three and six eggs, and Swunny will actively protect and nurture these clutches through hatching and on to adulthood.
Taming and Care
While Swunny can be domesticated, they have a shaky relationship with humans at best and tend to be highly aggressive and territorial even when domesticated. As such, they are recommended to be solitary pets as they will adopt their owners as their 'family unit' and will actively attack and try to drive out those outside said unit. They are also not recommended for urban areas, doing best on farms and ranches alongside other domestic livestock.