Species name: Andrilopithicus Rhetenomoir sp.
Common name: Names vary. Most refer to them as 'Baienheirs', though they have also been referred to as 'Shadow Hydras' or 'Body Snatchers.'
The species has three heads, and once branched off from the family of Aedolian dragons thousands of years previous to their current incarnation. Living a subterranean life, they remained small, developing three heads to assist with their senses- a head with piercing teeth and sensitive eyes to pinpoint and snatch prey, one with dull teeth and a short muzzle to crush bones, and one with a long nasal passage and curving horns to assist in smelling out prey. After the full development of Midhaven and the reintroduction of large prey items, they evolved into larger beasts over time in order to take advantage of this new food source and move away from the now-tainted rivers that once sustained the fish they fed upon.
Their round, distended bellies make for a low center of gravity, ensuring that they won't topple over when their heads all lean in one direction or another. They're hard to topple, and if that happens, they roll over with relative ease and can switch from their normal standing stance to become a quadruped. Their necks are generally quite long and sturdy, but can be severed if the right amount of force is used. Should one head die, the rot usually stops at the stump where the spine for that head begins- the other heads will then tear it off to devour the protein, and live the rest of its life with one less member.
Their three mouths funnel to one stomach, and each has a brain of its own. However, you will never see one head attack another during feeding time, as it's counterproductive- they need to eat as much as they can, as quickly as they can. Living underground means that they can subsist on less, so long as they do not venture too close to the metabolism-speeding light from above.
Arranged erratically through Midhaven's darkest corners, these large beasts have been known once in a long while to venture to the more well-lit areas when they are ill and their sight begins to fade in old age. This is when most are seen. Adolescents are given the worst places to live, staying near the outskirts of Midhaven's deepest subterranean tunnels, making escape by the figs difficult.
Mature males can reach up to fifteen feet high, while females span up to thirteen feet. They stand on two stumpy legs, normally, though they have been known to switch to a quadruped form of locomotion. Their tail length is usually half their total height.
Average Weight: No definitive measures. Most weigh more than a ton, though they've estimated specimens outweighing three and a half thousand pounds. Of course, these statistics are generally made by comparing their weights with organic dragons- there can be several hundred pounds' worth of flesh unaccounted for due to the fact that they have multiple heads.
Adults hunt for the dead, using brute strength to tear corpses from packs before they are able to drop them into the river. At their prime, they can afford to fight the living that hold onto the more decayed- and therefore, more easily digested and quicker to ingest- forms of food. Any casualties as a result of such scuffles are eaten, as well.
Adolescents and the oldest rely on pulling the living away from their packs, since individuals that are alive are less closely guarded than the dead. The elderly are the ones that the humans fear, since they literally have nothing to lose at that age- they are the ones that will attack closest to the light, and are therefore the most commonly seen.
The males of the species are cannibalistic on the very young, though the mothers will watch over a small brood of 6-7 hatchlings once every two years. While they do hatch from eggs, the ovoviparous nature assures that the eggs hatch internally before they are born live. They start life with one dominant head, as the other two finish development within the first month of life. The mother will bring them along on hunts, and their eager squeaks are often the factors that spoil an otherwise flawless hunt.
They reach adolescence at two years of life, and are driven off to fend for themselves.
The average lifespan of a Baienheir has been estimated at around 50 years, though there have been recorded instances of a single Baienheir that has had repeat appearances through the last 60 years of its life. The species cannot be researched long enough to come up with a definitive number.
These distant relatives of dragons are aggressive, yet quiet- their vocals are subdued hisses and croaks, with the occasional rumble when a female goes into estrus. When two of them meet, there are generally several signs that are seen- a Baienheir that swishes its tail from side to side is not pleased (it's a sign of irritation), while one that dips its head shows a display of submission. Highly territorial, it's not unusual to hear a pair hiss at one another in the darkness before it erupts into a fight- these are not social creatures, and do not tolerate another Baienheir's presence unless it is a mother with its own young.
When coming across a food source, the fastest, strongest eater wins the prize. There is no honor amongst thieves, and the strong have been known to wait until a weaker one makes a kill before it swoops in to claim the meal for itself.
[Submitted By KuraiKitty =D ]