- "You cannot exactly throw a bone at them and expect for them to roll over for you."
- ― Theo Garland remarking about viperwolves
Viperwolves (Na'vi name: nantang) are carnivous creatures who hunt in packs. With six legs, a lean and powerful torso, viperwolves have evolved to travel swiftly over long distances in search of prey. Very few predators (the mountain banshee among them) will attempt an attack on a viperwolf. Viperwolves almost always move in packs that can mass together into a highly cooperative hunting party within seconds of finding prey.
The viperwolf has six legs, with each paw having three toes and an opposable thumb. This allows it to climb trees as well as stalk from the ground and, thereby, creates a three-dimensional hunting field. It is mostly black, but is banded with vermillion and iridescent blue. Its hairless skin appears burnished and the low-slung head has chitinous armor around the neck, which turns to amphipod plating on the back of the neck and spine. The viperwolf has distensible snakelike jaws with obsidian teeth and a paddle-like tail for stability. Bioluminescent patterns are used for pack identification.
When stalking prey, the viperwolf is able to reduce its profile by hugging the ground or clinging to tree limbs. Its dark skin allows it to blend in with the environment at night and, thus hidden, a viperwolf can often approach within a few meters of unsuspecting prey and then attack with frightening efficiency. One xenobiologist describes this graceful, ominous movement as “liquid darkness”.
Only months after birth, a viperwolf cub is required to hunt on its own. However, the cubs mature swiftly and grow to half the adult size by their sixth month. By then, they also have a full set of teeth and their jaw muscles are almost mature. Viperwolf young are playful, in much the same manner as that of Terran Canidae pups.
Although vicious during combat and hunting, viperwolf mothers treat their cubs in a gentle, loving manner.
Relationship with Na'viEdit
Viperwolves can be seen and heard within the culture of the Na'vi. Some tribes even go far as to inscribe these creatures as beasts for war in the forms of body paint and masks. The viperwold is revered by the Na'vi for it's fierce intellegence, devotion to the pack, and strong familial bonds. It is particularly important to the Omaticaya tribe.