Length: 35 ft. Recorded length up to 45 ft.
Weight: 6.4 metric tons
Lifespan: 60 years
Species: F. infernus
Nickname: Fire Dragon or Wyvern
HISTORY: Foldons are a bit more sociable than his larger cousin, the cranigor. Native Archean locals have once reveired this majestic animal as a god of fire, and would often exodus into their breeding sights in chant formation as if in prayer, hoping that the dragon would rain down a large flame to help replenish the lands with new plant growth and fresh soil. Foldons have always a big influence on Archeans, probably longer so than most large dragons.
Some Archean, notably royal soldiers, would often raid foldon nests, taking just one egg per nest without getting killed. Most of the eggs stolen were unfertilized and would make for a fitting meal for a large family. But if the egg was viable, however, the unborn chick would be sold into the Archean livestock trade to be trained and used as a working or war animal. Having that said, foldons were much more tamable despite their natural aggression. These dragons were protective of their handlers and other soldiers in general.
DESCRIPTION: The foldon is Argo's second largest dragon species. Male foldons are dark red in coloration. Their striping patterns cover them from head to tail, and are an even darker shade of red to almost black. Female foldons are a lighter red in both body and stripe coloration, and lack the blue manes that males have. They are also slightly smaller. A foldon's eye color is orange with green and yellow irises. Foldons are faster runners than cranigors. Chicks have completely orange eyes with black cat-like pupils. And unlike the cranigor, foldon chicks hatch without proto-feathers on their bodies. Although smaller than the cranigor, evenly sized individuals from both species can be competitive that could last for hours, or even days. And while the foldon lacks the strong bite force of its braunier enemy, it has speed on its side.
Like all of Argo's dragons, foldons have four-fingered forelimbs surrounded by thin but strong wing membranes that help enable sustained flight.
RANGE: A foldon's range is almost similar to that of the cranigors', although they prefer to live closer to the edges of mountanous regions and opening up more into wooded areas and open plains of the southern part of Tas, but reign supreme apex predator in Meta. A foldon's territory can overlap a cranigor's. Both species normally avoid one another, as cranies have been known to kill foldons, or vise versa (factoring in, of course, age/size). They prefer grasslands when hunting, and are excellent ambush predators.
It is not uncommon for some individuals to make their homes near the bases of active, dormant, and extinct volcanoes, especially during the mating season. Preferred nesting areas are often around volcanic areas with plenty of debris. Like cranies, foldons have to have an Argonium deposit in their territory that is shared by other species.
FEEDING: Unlike cranigors, foldons are active hunters as well as ambush predators. They can go for up to a year without food during times of scarcity. Although they will virtually eat anything, they mainly prey upon the many key iguadont species that are common in Argo. As adolescents, foldons can hunt in small packs four or more, often seeking out preferable targets that are sick, young, or old. Older individuals can hunt on their own, and more often than not steal food from other predators. They can prey upon young Braceritos if they can separate it from a herd.
A foldon's teeth were double-edged, perfect fror slicing deep into flesh, not for bone crushing like the cranigor. And while by comparison its bite force was weak, the foldon's powerful neck muscles helped enable to swing its head down very hard on it's prey over and over like an axe or hammer. Allosaurus, a dinosaur from Earth, used the very same technique since it, too, had a weak bite, even more so than a male african lion! Foldon's use their speed and element of surprise to make kills. They are, in fact, the allosaurs of Argo.
HABIT: Foldons are known by the locals as Fire dragons due to the fact that use fire more often than any other species, as they are more easily agitated and startled. Individuals keep to their own territories, and rarely roam outside of them, unless it's a female during the mating season. And even if food is plentiful, the most dominant dragon must always put others under his or her rule when feeding. They can migrate to Tas in search of nesting and hunting grounds, and can also be seen flying around active volcanoes. Foldons hunt their prey on foot, not flight, and both young and old animals can hunt in packs. Once a year, various ages of dragons will congregate in a special area in certain open mountain or river crossings, waiting for the annual iguadont migration, smiliar to that of crocodiles waiting for wildebeest on Earth.
In very rare cases, male cranies can mate with female foldons, producing fertile integrade offspring called Folcrans.
As with cranigors, foldon adolescent packs are same sexed.
REPRODUCATION: Foldons breed in early summer once every seven years. Breeding age is normally around 13 years. During this time, males will keep to their territories, pacing back and forth in a large clearing in the rocks or dry grass, and issues an array of vocalizations as mating calls in order to appease any potential females flying over his domain. A food offering is also common to further draw in the female. If another male enters his home, the resident male will give chase, showing off that he is indeed fit to sire healthy offspring. Sometimes, both males will take flight and throw fire, biting,a dn clawing eachother in battle. The successor wins territory and mating rights. But if all goes well and the female is impressed with his mating calls, and dance, food offering, and flashy blue mane, than she will show receptiveness, submitting to him. The males are known to help parent the young, and male and female may stay together for life.
Females seek out a suitable nesting deposit in the for of ash and debris. Incubation can last for almost 3 months. One clutch contains up to twenty oblong shaped eggs. When the chicks hatch, they are orange in coloration, and heavily covered in dark brownish stripes, many of which will fade as they grow older. As with any large clutch, only a small percentage will survive to their first year, usually three to six chicks. Male chicks have blue tints under their throats. The young dragons can often stay with their parents until they are ten years of age. The chicks can stay together for almost two months before. Females can stay together longer, but males will often seek batchelor packs with other young males and males as old as ten years.
STATUS: Foldons are prone to becoming endangered due to hunting, habitat loss, and egg collecting. Foldon flesh and eggs are considered a delicacy by one race or another. They are also take alive for the purpose of beast of burden as they can be readily tamed and trained, despite being wild. They have also been trained as war animals, and are often killed with old age.