Request: 1358219 Date: 9-27-70
Archive: Aereolus Main Archivist: M'Lu'Rath'a
Library: AB (Life Studies) Wing: II (Bestiary)
Catacomb: a2 (Vertebra) Court: 213 (Oviparus )
Hall: 010 (Reptus ) Room: DR (Drakon )
Case: VII (Vlucht Vermis) Shelves: 19a-c (Wyvere)

Wyvern (Skorpios Drakon Wyvere)
Scorpion Dragon, False Wyrme, Cliff Dragon

Wyvern are animals but distantly related to true dragons (Drakon). While resembling reptiles in stance, armored hide, and general structural design, the pelvic construction, homoeothermic regulation, and lung structure more closely resemble that of avians. While still a subject of debate, it is thought that wyverns (as well as true dragons) are more closely related to avians than reptiles.

The species lay eggs from which hatch young after a gestation period of 5-6 months. Maturation takes approximately twenty years with adolescence at three years. While solitary in nature, they breed in the spring with parturition in summer. A new born wyvern requires twenty pounds of food per diem. Wyverns mate for life. The partner of a slain mate has been known to hunt down those responsible with a unique single mindedness and a total disregard for survival.

The female wyvern tends to be larger than the male, reaching lengths of up to thirty feet (including tail). They have supple, durable, scaled hides similar to true dragons. It is difficult for all but the finest steel and magicked weapons to penetrate the hide. In protective quality, a wyvern's hide has been likened to elven mail (See: a112bAIIv-701). Walking in a bird-like, bipedal fashion they reach a height of up to 18 feet. Wyverns are winged fliers: able creatures which expertly navigate the treacherous mountain winds and currents which surround their cliff-side aviaries. Their wing spread usually approximates their length. The integuments of their wings are not as durable as their hide. Wyvern's feet are four toed; three of which point forward and one towards the posterior (as with a bird). The feet bear claws which reach lengths of up to one foot. It two large, dorsally mounted eyes are set on either side of its head giving it a wide field of view. Structural evidence from preserved specimens indicate that it likely sees in the dark by detecting heat radiations. Its sense of smell is poor and the quality of its hearing is unknown.

A wyvern's hide is a brilliant, spring green with iridescent hints along the windward edges of its scales, while the surfaces of its wings are a black with red highlights following the structural members in the wing. During mating season, the female's hide sports gaudy bright red markings. The eyes are golden and a large, veined crest runs from just behind the wyvern's occipital ridge posterior to the shoulder blades It has two primary methods of defense and food acquisition: wyvern can spit a caustic/flammable expectorate or stab with a poisoned spur. Only adult wyverns are capable of making the caustic expectoration. A wyvern can launch an incendiary stream out to a distance of 30 feet. Depending on the size of the wyvern, it is capable of making from three to five such pyrotechnic attacks, after which it usually requires a like number of days to renew its hoard. The incendiary stream is quite dangerous and adheres to most surfaces tenaciously. A Wyvern is relatively unaffected by fire, but is disproportionately effected by cold. They tend to be quite sluggish in the winter.

A wyvern's tail is tipped with a large, poisoned spur, and (on larger specimens) the spur reaches a length of up to three feet. At the base is a pendulous poison sack. This reservoir contains from eight to twelve measures of lethal venom depending on the size of the wyvern. The supply requires a like number of days to be replenished. Unlike the spittle, even immature wyvern have a poison reservoir. It is thought that the wyvern's life time ingestion of poison from the flesh of its slain prey is responsible for its resistance to all forms of poison. The spur, itself, inflicts wounds resembling in severity a medium lance. The spur displays a modest curve.

Besides its primary armament, its ancillary attack modes include raking attacks with its clawed feet or mauling bites.

From the distinct amount of maternal and paternal care given to offspring, life long spousal and offspring bonding, and limited evidence of a language (versus a system of calls such as found in beasts), it has been posited that wyvern may be intelligent creatures.

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