The Red Tailed Mardik
(mardik stirpitus cursor)
Species: Mardik Stirpitus Cursor
Red Tailed Mardiks are the largest tree climbers in Yabun Forest. Males can weigh up to 11 kilograms and females about 9. They have rough, loose hides and large dewclaws that are incredibly flexible, which they use for climbing though the canopy. They are swift animals, jumping and dashing through the branches in search of food and potential mates, using their long tails for balance. Mardiks rarely leave the trees but have been noted to stalk prey close to low branches.
There are 4 species of Mardik that inhabit Yabun Forest and they are all descendants of the Bala, a large carnivore that resides in the flatlands further south. All Mardiks are carnivores except the Pygmy Mardik, whose diet consists plant matter as well as flesh. Mardiks prey on small game including Spotted Bufodd which can result in falling prey to the Gigatus, a large arthropod that inhabits the Yabun Forest.
Mardiks are loud, energetic animals and are very curious. They call out to each other, making high-pitched yelps to let rival groups know of their presence. Red Tailed Mardiks are social animals, living groups up to 12 strong. They are lead by a dominant male who is distinguishable by enlarged spines on the back of his neck. This male will mate with all of the females in his group until his power is overthrown or he dies off. Red Tailed Mardiks decide hierarchy by fighting. Males will circle on another in the canopy, then lunge at one another, trying to knock the other out of the branches. Fights can result in serious injury and even death.
Mardiks are mammals and give birth to live young in the trees. Female Red Tailed Mardiks build nests using leaves and vines they tangle among the branches in a circular form. This creates a sack-like refuge where they bear and rear their young. Mothers will hunt and return to their nests where they tear up their kill to feed their offspring to eat. Young Red Tailed Mardiks follow their mothers through the branches, learning how to survive from her. They will leave her at around 1 year of age and either stay within the group or separate unless they are male, in which they tend to leave and begin new groups of their own.