Height: 9ft. Record bulls can be much larger.
Weight: 7 tons
Lifespan: 90+ years
Status: Near Threatened
Species: W. thylacodraco
Nicknames: Marsupial or Kangaroo dragon
Wakaluus are one of only two other six-limbed dragon species found on Argo, other than the Leolii. They are the most interesting species found in Argo. They are also the most approachable and tamable of all the dragon species, so much so that even Archean lower-class could easily raise an orphaned chick into an all purpose working animal, or as a famliy pet. They are very affectionate towards their caretakers.
The wakaluu is a most perplexing species of dragon in Argo. An adult male can stand up to almost ten feet tall, not counting its horns which are used mainly for display and status. Females are smaller, with smaller horns. They have unusually large and powerful hindlegs that can help them hop and leap about great distances, a feature that is highly parculiar for a dragon. Those legs can also deliver deadly kicks should the animal get startled or afraid. They also have powerful forelimbs, with a very large middle claw that is used for defense and for digging up prey items. A Wakaluu's tail is thick and heavy, and can be used as a type of "third leg" when the animal is at rest standing up, sort of like a tripod. This habit is very similar to Earth's kangaroos and wallabies, even their body features are strikingly reflective. Males are a red color all around their bodies, with a deep, thick cranberry dorsal stripe that spans from neck to tail, and stripes down the sides of its body. Males also have a white breast with small black stripings. Feamles have the same features, but are almost light brown with a dark brown dorsal line that also bleeds down their sides. Other major differences between males and females include that males have a small, black scruffy mane while females possess pouches on their bellies, the most unusual feature found in a dragon. Hatchlings are orange in coloration with blue irises, while adults have yellow irises for eye color.
The males forearms have large black scales as well as the maroon stripings, while their legs have large white scales with the maroon stripings again. Females have the striping son their limbs, but lack the large scales. Both gender do have black and white patterns on their wings.
Wakaluus are also the leo's only closest relative.
Wakaluu are unique to the small continent of Ugati, along with other oddities found nowhere else on Argo. They prefer open, rich and green grasslands, and sometimes arid deserts. Although they are the top predators, wakaluu often get into competition with other predators, such as the Ugatian Gestso, a slightly smaller version of its mainland counterpart. Even a couple of prey items are to be cautious around.
This is the only carnivorous dragon species that can eat plant matter. Although not an active hunter, the wakaluu normally targets sick and slow moving prey items or feeds on carrion. But the wakaluu also has a tactic of choice when hunting- ambush. Unlike other dragons, these specialize in using lowland flight to their advantage, and will often hunt in small mobs to take down one or more prey.
As for plants, they are sometimes seen browsing on young shrubs for a high concentration of fiber in their diet. No one really understands this behavior, though it is speculated that due to the seasons of the continent, the dragons do this as a type of "plug" for a four month winter hibernation. Wakaluus are also known to uproot tubers and roots, often feeding on invertebrates at the same time.
Wakaluu can be solitary, but are mostly found in small family groups called mobs. To maintain and strengthen bonds, individuals often groom one another by licking eachother's faces to help get rid of parasites. Wakaluu can fly long distances for for a short time. Their metabolism is slow, and with no natural predators to prey on adults, these dragons have possibly the longest lifespans of any dragon species, and are generally healthier.
As mentioned before, the wakaluu hibernates just like a grizzly bear, fattenign up on meat and plant material. Small mobs often join together to form massive mobs to seek out a large and seclusive cave where all individuals huddle together in a deep sleep.
Males, when competing for a mate, will rear up on their tails, flap their wings, and box eachother. These fights can be fatal, with the losers often recieving deep flesh wounds. These, however, are rare, and lesser males usually backdwon after the first several minutes. Young dragons are suspetible to other predators.
When challenging for the right to mate, two brightly colored males will size eachother up first. Usually, the smaller, younger contendor gives up without a fight. But if both males are equally matched, they may boxfight. The winner of the battle will seek out the most receptive female, shasing her around until he finally mounts her. The female lays a single egg. But once laid, she will scoop it up in her pouch where it will hatch and grow, safely tucked away from the elements of the outside and would-be predators. Young dragons do not leave the pouch until they have reached a year old. They will stay with their mothers in large nursery mobs with others of their kind. Males do not take part in parental care.
Dragons as old as three years can still enter their mother's pouch. And at four years, they are permanantly left outside. At this time, the mother will become receptive again and will want to mate again. Even once the mother lays another egg, the chick will continues to be looked after the mother until it reaches eight years old. Male hatchilgs are a darker orange color than the females, and are born with two stubs on their heads that will for, one day, their display horns. Females will not grow theirs until their first year.
Wakaluus are near threatened due to poaching and for private animal collectors due to their docility and ease of care. They are also used as beasts of burden, as they are not active fighters in the fighting ring. And more often than not, Wakaluu are often used as "circus animals" for show and display. Many of these animals take heavy abuse from their caretakers, and often die early. Many owners can be so cruel, infact, that they have been known to literally pull out a dragon's teeth, and declaw them in the most inhumane ways to prevent any future attacks on anyone.