Species: Dog Other Names: Fox; Pipe Fox; Bilge Dog (or Fox) Ancestral Species: Red fox, particularly Belyaev’s domesticated silver strain (Vulpes vulpes, likely ssp. V. v. vulpes and V. v. caucasica) Original Purpose: Laboratory animal (genetics research), source of meat and fur Habitat: Dogs are adaptable to almost any range of temperatures and humidity levels, although they seem to prefer cooler regions of the facility (whether due to function or geography). They thrive best in areas that have plenty of hiding spaces, giving them refuge from larger predators. Many dogs live and hunt in pipes, tunnels, bilges, and ventilation ducts, giving rise to some of their other common names. Physical Description: Physically, Vesperian dogs show a greater resemblance to true dogs (Canis lupus familiaris) than to their vulpine ancestors. They have shorter legs and tend to be lighter in weight than their ancestors, averaging 4-10 pounds. Dogs are born with pendant ears, although these sometimes straighten as the dog matures. Their tails are medium in length and tend to curve over their backs. Whitemarked patterning is very common, with various grades of silver being the most abundant base colour. Other colours may be seen from time to time, from red to black to cream to white. Frequency: Rare Diet: Although considered a carnivore, the dog will eat almost anything it comes across, including small animals, carrion, plants, fungi, and algae. In some areas, dogs subsist almost entirely on cultivated mushrooms. Intelligence: Sapient; levels vary from low to medium, with an average of low. Social Organization: Dogs generally live in small family groups consisting of one or two parents and their sub-adult offspring. Some dogs, particularly males, prefer to remain solitary. Occupations: Most dogs are simple opportunistic hunter-scavengers, although some older individuals may take up residence with others species as advisors, sages, or healers. Religion: Although some dogs are irreligious, many follow a pantheon of gods that extol a warrior-hunter culture. Related Species: True dogs (Canis lupus familiaris) were quite common throughout the Vesper facility during its original operation, as research specimens (mainly beagles), guards (malinois and rottweilers), or assistants (mixed breeds). They have been extirpated throughout the facility due to a combination of competition with tigers and the lack of resources to support packs of predators. The mink (Neovison vison) has been observed occupying a similar niche to the dog, although the two animals almost never share the same territories.
Thanks, I'm glad that you are enjoying them! I should have a few more up very soon. It's fun to imagine the different creatures one might find, and the different ways that they would organize their societies.