Mute chukarandos are the domesticated form of the Common chukarando. Properly raised they produce several useful byproducts.
Identification and Field Marks
All chukarandos – members of the ghastly-things-with-fur-that-lay-eggs family – have certain traits in common: thick, brown, curly fur with black stripes and a white underbelly. They can grow as large as a unanit in length when standing on all three legs. They have elongated snouts and jaws that can open nearly ten nanits wide. Inside their powerful jaws they have sharp serrated teeth in front for shredding and flat teeth in back for grinding. Their saliva is quite acidic and can leave a nasty burn. Indeed, having a Mute chukarando chewing on your ankle is rather worse than getting divorced and finding out that your future ex-wife had genital warts after all, but only just barely. Mute chukarandos do not have the distinctively loud growl-squawk of the Common chukarando however, this having been bred out of the species –- hence the label "mute".
Chukarandos' primary food source is the fefferberry. In fact, the decimation of the Evesque Valley wild fefferberry bush is due largely to the introduction of chukarandos to the Valley roughly around -100 EC (presumably by the Carsokians), an event further related to the extinction of the budgerigar birds in the wild.
For the chukarando, the task of digesting a fefferberry bush (not just the berries, but the entire bush) requires a remarkable intestinal fortitude. It is aided in accomplishing that task by the phenomenon of Awal shrinkage. The powerful jaws of the chukarando mash the bush and the berries into an emulsion that, combined with the acidic nature of chukarando saliva, creates a waxy solution.
In the chukarandos’ first stomach, the mixture is heated and combined with the digestive spelgof. The growl-squawk of the chukarando makes the mixture obithly contract and eases its passage to the second stomach where the nutrients are absorbed. A further growl and squawk allows the chukarando to pass the depleted material. During this process the chukarando glows faintly orange.
Mute chukarandos, on the other hand, digest much more slowly, and without the sounds of other chukarandos around them, it retards their voracious appetite. It also means they require a special diet of prepared fefferberry mash. It was the Smallwood family who discovered the breeding required to render the Common chukarando mute. Mute chukarandos cannot survive in the wild as they are unable to digest unprocessed food.
Common chukarandos are also related to the extraordinarily rare Extraordinarily Rare chukarando and the Tuckarando. Children may recognize Fijjit Mejora’s long-time friend P'Jubal in the best-selling “Fijjit and the Fefferberry Failure” as a Tuckarando.
Mute chukarandos are completely reliant on domestication. They lack the adaptations to survive in the wild. They are raised primarily in the Evesque Valley. Baron Claude Lloyd Albert Smallwood is the foremost expert on the breeding and raising of Mute chukarandos alive today.
Common chukarandos live primarily in the Andelphracian River Valley, although smaller bands of Common chukarandos live throughout the Evesque Valley where they are considered a nuisance animal. Tuckarandos live in the Sarfelogian Mountain valleys.
Because Mute chukarando guano isn’t completely depleted of luminescence it is therefore a vital component in the manufacture of Luminous manuscripts. Chukarando flesh has a light flavor that is slightly fruity and is usually prepared with fefferberry chutney or a light Adlorst sauce. The fur of Mute chukarandos is used in the lining of gloves, shoes and cold-weather gear for its superior thermal qualities. Chukarando teeth are used in the crafting of Freege Horn keys.
--Dr. H. L. Ackroyd 19:32, 18 Dec 2004 (EST)