Life span: 40 years.
Shoulder height: 4' - 5'
Weight: 250 - 450 lbs.
Every member is named after a god/goddess/spirit from any folklore
Visible jaw muscles lend power to the beak, which is powerful enough to break and rip apart prey. A ligament allows the upper beak to move up and down. The tongue is short, stubby, and thin as most bird of prey tongue. The top palette contains six incisor teeth, and the lower jaw contains regular predatory teeth, but incisors in replace of molars. These teeth assure struggling prey will be held fast or be ripped open in the struggle. No nose exists, and is instead a bone plate that transitions into the keratin beak. Without a nose, Alkyre lack a sense of smell. Their olfactory gland is in tact in their top palette which is used to identify members of their species. With this lack of smell, they have a heightened sense of hearing and cat-like eyesight that doubles as powerful night vision. Their ears can stand erect, but rest lowered when relaxed.
All Alkyre have a crop, which is a stomach like organ used to store food, resting in front of their stomach.
Male Alkyre have flaps along the carotid artery, concealed in pouches, that expand and brighten when flushed with blood. When the blood is retracted, they shrink back into the pouch. Their heart rests directly behind an enlarged sternum for protection. They possess a surprisingly flexible spine. Forepaws consist of five closely situated toes that help them climb and maneuver terrain.
There is no size difference between genders. Both male and female Alkyre sport horns. There are unlimited horn variations. Manes and tails can be any length or style.
Due to their ability to migrate and inhabit regions with consistent climate, there is no mating season. They are mature and capable of reproducing at 10 years of age. Males expand their neck flaps to display during courtship and intimidate opponents. Because of their tenacity and power, it is not uncommon for opponents to sport injuries and battle scars. Alkyre may be monogamous, and on occasion will create their own pack with life long partners.
The incubation period is three months. Females give birth to live litters consisting of one to two young. They are raised by the mother and the females in the pack. Mothers without a pack typically join together to form a maternal pack in which they take turns hunting and caring for young. A mother without a mate or pack is very vulnerable. Males defend and provide food, but are not considered a primary nurturer. If the maternal parent dies, a male may provide both roles or abandon it to a pack female. If a female of a solitary mated pair with young dies, a male will likely abandon it and search for a new mate.
Young are fed soft grubs, fruits, and berries, supplemented with partially digested meat that the parents regurgitate from their crop.
Alkyre are intelligent, but primal creatures. They rely on body language and a series of complicated clicks, roars, and growls to communicate. They have been known to offer food as a sign of trust or a request to join a pack.
Male and female Alkyre may singularly lead a pack as they are equally capable, but usually consist of a mated pair. Outsiders do not typically overtake packs because they consist of multiple pairs. If an outsider killed the pack leader, they would then be seen as a threat to the rest of the pack and their young. They will band together to fend off the invader, and the next pair perceived as the most powerful would then be gifted with leadership. If an outsider were to overtake the leader and a pack is unable to fend them off, a pack with young will usually disband and form elsewhere with new members to protect their young. If no young, they may remain. It is in an Alkyre's best interest to become part of a pack and vie for leadership rights when an elderly pair die or step down. This is much less dangerous and is more of a right of passage. It is desirable to earn leadership of an existing pack instead of creating a pack, as many new packs do not have mated pairs. They would be much less likely to come to the defense of leaders because they do not have young to protect or pre existing bonds. They will simply abandon the pack for safety and begin again elsewhere.
They are tenacious when challenged or in defense of young, but are otherwise curious. They may seem territorial, but much of the defending of pack territory arises from the instinct to protect their young. Due to the lack of a mating season, Alkyre are cautious when roaming because it is unclear by season if a pack has young or not. If they do not, they may grow a pack with new members or amicably interact with other packs at territory lines.
An Alkyre uses their jaws, beaks, and paws to attack prey. While hunting, they ambush prey from cover. Due to their size, they tend to be slower and do not engage in chase over open ground. The size of prey does not deter them as they're very brave.
When fighting among themselves, they will also use their horns and hooves. They use their powerful neck to ram and gore opponents with their horns.
They do not typically kill young as they are fiercely defended by parents. However, newly solitary young may be fair game in times of famine as there are no parents or pack to protect them. Newly matured Alkyre separate into bachelor groups and roam until finding mates. These bachelor groups are made up of young and inexperienced Alkyre who are plunging into adulthood. During these years as bachelors, they learn to perfect their hunting, foraging, and fighting abilities.
Alkyre strive in humid, rainy, and hot climates. They are typically found in rainforests, islands, and the forests along the base of mountainous regions. They are known to find shelter in caves, under fallen debris, behind waterfalls, and occasionally on low branches. They do not fare well in very cold or very hot areas, as these lack sufficient cover for their ambush-style hunting.
An Alkyre will eat almost any animal and will gorge themselves with large amounts of meat. Between hunting, they will forage for fruits, nuts, berries, and grubs. They do not chew. They rip prey and kill by crushing their victims in their powerful jaws. If they kill a member of their species, they will usually not eat them unless they are starving.