For your envisioning pleasure – and also because I secretly hope someone will send me fan art along the lines of a classic Old West painting set on said Mars-type world (beautiful for spacious pink skies and vermilion mountains’ majesty above its fruited plain of mottled green and blue grass, although the grain still comes in amber waves) – the greenlife quebérúr is a relative of the Terran bison. Specifically, it’s a separate descendant of Bison antiquus than our modern Bison bison, that has kept the 15%-25% larger size of the former (about 7.5′ tall, 15′ long, and 3,500 lbs.) Other relevant differences include having developed curled, downward-pointing horns, and being able to digest and mostly excrete the non-overlapping compounds across the bluelife/greenlife gap without being poisoned or sickened by them. Much the same parameters apply to their transbovine descendants.
It was understood relatively early in Project Redblossom that Talentar would become a major food-exporting planet as the ecopoesis continued. As the major geophysical stages were completed, the planet warmed, water was introduced, and the microbiome became established, it became time to introduce macroscopic flora, among the earliest of which called for by the ecopoesis plan were grasses to bind the regolith dunes.
It did not escape the ecotects’ attention that the grass family included a variety of commercially-viable flora, most obviously the widely used grains landesh and irdesh, and that incorporating these into the ecopoesis plan would help to render it self-sustaining in more ways than one. Thus, an extensive agricultural industry rapidly grew up around the early colonies, especially those located in the lowlands of Kirinal Planum, exporting vast quantities of bread, beer, and raw grain to the system’s expanding population of drifts and orbital habitats – aided in this by the relative shallowness of Talentar’s gravity well as compared to Eliéra’s, and Talentar’s possession of the system’s first orbital elevator. The ecotects required that part of the payment for these goods be made in nitrogenous and other organic waste collected from the habitats, which became feedstock to their dirt farming programs and thus in turn expanded Talentar’s fertile regions; a virtuous cycle.
Unanticipated was what followed. Commercial grains, being insufficient in themselves for a stable ecological tier, were by no means the only grasses spreading on Talentar. Forty-seven years after the initiation of this program, a ranchers’ consortium from the Iniositac-Variasotec Commonwealth, observing the spread of common grasses in less desirable regions of the planet, obtained title to one of the largest contiguous areas of this “Talentarian prairie”. A year later, they introduced the first Rieltelir-adapt quebérúr, modified Eliéran cattle capable of breathing the low-oxygen, high-dioxide atmosphere, shaggier and better able to live in cold conditions, the dung from whose grazing in turn helped expand these prairie regions. While the export of quebérúr meat was much lower in volume than grain exports, it was much higher value due to the near-impossibility at that time of producing such anywhere else in the system with a relatively shallow well, and several fortunes were made in this new business.
And to this day, the Carbon-Carbon Grill at Suléyn Dome still serves the best non-vat quebérúr steak in the Lumenna-Súnáris System.
– Talentar Blossoming: the Early Years,
So, regarding those “Ethnographical Questionnaire” chunks I have posted occasionally – I conclude that I’m going to start posting smaller chunks, on the grounds that (a) it takes me so damn long to finish a section, and (b) smaller and more often is better than giant and occasional. So, that said, here’s a new piece:
What are the most common domesticated animals here? And what are they domesticated for?
This, of course, varies quite radically by planet – so here’s the original most common domesticated animals of Eliéra, the eldraeic homeworld:
The adhaïc [honeybee] – hive insects, greenlife, kept for their honey, wax, and pollination services.
The bandal – a canid greenlife species, or more accurately, another subspecies of Canis lupus, differentiated from the Earth dog by virtue of having spent its domestication mostly being bred for smart, rather than obedient, being expected to operate more as junior partners in civilization than tools (including, say, the ability to operate clockwork automata in at least a limited fashion) in many and varied roles; distinguished by a higher forehead and more manipulative forepaws. Also associated with Tárvalén, the Binder, Eikone of Loyalty (see myth).
The cerrúr – a four-horned hexapedal browsing bluelife animal, used for riding.
The certárúr – a four-horned (with stunted horns) hexapedal browsing bluelife animal, used for riding and as a draft animal; also for leather.
The chiashaïc [silk-spider] – a bluelife pseudo-arachnid, used for fiber.
The ékaláman – a hexapedal flying carnivorous bluelife reptile with a mid-wing, used for hunting, as we do raptors.
The élirúr [dormouse] – a greenlife rodent, used for meat.
The fírastal – a slightly larger greenlife relative of the Earth cat, kept for pest control and occasional hunting.
The hasérúr – a hexapedal browsing bluelife animal used for meat and milk.
The kuléra – a four-winged bluelife bird, used as a scout and messenger.
The líhasúr – a quadrupedal rooting greenlife animal, used for meat; a close relative of the Earth pig.
The nekhalyef – a quadrupedal grazing greenlife animal, used for meat, milk, and fiber; a close relative of the Earth sheep.
The pengál – a bluelife pseudoserpent, kept for pest control.
The reshkef – a hexapedal browsing bluelife animal, used for meat, milk, and fiber.
The quebérúr – a quadrupedal grazing greenlife animal, used for meat and milk; a close relative of the Earth bison.
The sevesúr – a two-winged greenlife game bird, used for meat and eggs.
The tiryef – a large flightless bluelife bird, used for meat.
Underwater, the ííche [dolphins – well, technically, it means “cetaceans”, but in this specific case; greenlife] and cúlnó [octopodes; greenlife], which occupy a similar niche Below as the bandal do on the surface. Also, various farmed fish.
Which animals are likely to be pets? Which ones won’t be?
The most commonly kept as pets – but for values of pets which usually involves working (which, in their terms, includes “for companionship”), rather than simple ornamentation, since the eldrae have ideas about dignity and what they shouldn’t expect any animal smart enough to be a pet to do – would be the bandal, the firastal, and the kuléra; underwater, and to a lesser degree in space, some species of cúlnó are also popular.
As for which won’t – anything that’s too dangerous or insanitary, as usual, plus anything not smart enough to hold the interest of their keepers. With the possible exceptions of aviary birds, aquarium fish, and butterflies – but then, they are ornamental.