One of the most popular Itharii pets, Iravik (plural iravik, singular iravi) are lizard like animals native to forested regions of Ithar. Iravik are sometimes called Itharii cats as they filled a similar ecological niche. Iravik self-domesticated during the Itharii agricultural revolution coming to live with Itharii who provided warmth and whose farms and silos attracted plenty of vermins for Iravik to eat.
As the migration ship used by Itharii to reach earth was originally conceived as a colony ship capable of seeding a planet with a copy of Ithar’s biosphere, tens of thousands of Iravi eggs were included within the cargo hold which allowed the species to be revived on earth in 2007.
Iravik are slender lizard-like beings with four legs which end with suction pads similar to a gecko’s allowing them to cling to virtually any surface. Iravi hind legs are strong and build to allow them to leap great distance to catch preys. Their bodies are covered by smooth scales except on the belly area which has smooth skin. Iravik have slim triangular head which are flanked by long frills which typically rest against the head but are raised to intimidate predators or convey certain moods.
Iravik are cold blooded obligate carnivores who primarily feed on small verminous creatures. Due to their slow metabolism, Iravik typically only need to eat every few days. Being unable to maintain body temperature by themselves, Iravik rely on sunbathing or snuggling warmth source to remain warm. Iravik whose body temperature becomes too low risk entering a dangerous hibernation to preserve themselves.
Reproduction & Sexual dimorphism
Male and Female juvenile Iravik share the same body types but are easy to differentiate once sexual maturity is reached. Adult females retain their childhood green or brown color and grow to twice the size of a mature male. Males turn bright shades of red, yellow and oranges.
Iravik reproduce sexually, with the male mounting the female after a successful courtship which includes dances and gifts. Once fertilized the female lays two to four leathery brown eggs. The sex of the hatchling depends on the temperature it is hatched, with female eggs hatching at warmer temperature, after being typically laid in decomposing vegetate matter.
Iravik organize in small groups called a harem; headed by a mature female and between three to eight males tending to her.
Iravik as Pets
Male and female iravik have rather different behaviors. Females are typically shy, territorial and solitary while males are sociable, curious and gentle. As such most pet iravik are males.
Male iravi pets will generally display mating behaviors toward their favorite handlers including giving them gifts or showing off their mating dances, often to ask for petting or similar attention. Iravik typically snuggle with their handlers as a way to keep warm. They will often climb onto their handlers and like to be carried around, inside of their handler’s clothes.
When kept as pets Iravik require plenty of space to climb, free access to water, hiding spots and safe, consistent warmth sources. Earth iravik are capable of living well on a diet of gut loaded crickets or worms as well as tiny rodents, although it is advised to avoid live-feedings as to avoid any potential injuries to the Iravi.