Hello Avatar Fans, Airspeed Prime here. This Post is going to be the first of a series of poststo help you learn more about the amazing Animals of Avatar. In my opinion the animals are one of the coolest parts of Avatar, they really help to shape and present to us the world that is Avatar. Most of the animals that you will learn about in this book are Hybrid Animals (IE they are a combination of two or more animals) as well as a few non Hybrid ones which are rare in the Avatar World. The format will be a description of what animals it is a combination of, their behavior, the habitat that they are in (what nation/area they are found in) and of course an Image if there is one. So lets get into the Animals Starting with the ones that we see the most. Keep in mind that alot of the info here is based on Conjecture that has some root in the Show. Sky Bison [caption id="attachment_3285" align="aligncenter" width="288" caption="Here is a Mother Sky Bison and her babies"]Sky Bison[/caption] A Sky Bison or Flying Bison is a combination of a Bison and a Manatee, They are Air Nomad Animals and their habitats are the Air Temples (Mainly the Eastern Temple where most young Airbenders chose their companions for life) which are located on mountains and cliff sides. [caption id="attachment_3286" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Appa the most well known Bison, and the last of his species ?"]Appa[/caption] They are the first Airbenders and humans learned from them to control Air Currents thus creating Airbending. Their Airbending allows them to fly with ease using its large/wide tail to speed up they can use their tails to make blasts of Air. They are usually very docile creatures but are ferocious fighters when forced to. They are very large animals and can easily transport people around, most fully grown Sky Bisons weigh around 10 tons, they are very powerful beasts and posses great strength, they can also swim using their tail. Since they are used to Flying and having lots of space most are scared by confined spaces. They have 5 stomachs so they need a lot of food when they eat. Most Sky Bisons are born at the Eastern Air Temple where young Airbenders come to choose a Sky Bison to be their lifelong companion showing just how loyal these animals are, they are highly respected by the Air Nomads so much so that Air Nomad Tattoos are based off the Brown stripe that ends in an arrow head each bison has. In Air Nomad culture Sky Bisons are used to play a game called Sky Bison Polo. Unfortunately when Fire Lord Sozin attacked all the Air Temples all but one Sky Bison was killed during the genocide of the Air Nomads. So presumably Appa, Avatar Aang's Sky Bison is the last of his species. From what we see in the show we can presume that they may have lifespans similar to humans but they may be able to live longer. Winged Lemur [caption id="attachment_3287" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Here is Momo the most well known Winged Lemur and also the last of his species."]Momo[/caption] A Winged Lemur is the combination of a Bat and a Lemur, they are Air Nomad animals and their habitats are The Air Temples. They are very energetic and inquisitive animals, they can fly due to wing flaps on its arms, this leads to them being extremely quick and agile and thus difficult to catch. They were presumably used as Air Nomad pets. They use their strong and long Tail to grab things and hang out of trees. While they cannot understand human language they are quite intelligent creatures with a strong sense of hearing and smell. They absolutely love food and will often steal any food it steals. They are also very loyal animals as shown by Momo who wanted to stay with Avatar Aang to face Fire Lord Ozai. Dragons [caption id="attachment_3288" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Avatar Roku riding his Dragon Fang"]Fang[/caption] Dragons are one of the only species of animal that is non-hybrid, they are Fire Nation Animals and presumably their habitat was making a cave their home somewhere on a mountainside. Dragons are the Original Firebenders, The Sun Warrior learned from them how to bend Fire. They were able to breathe Fire with great precision and beauty even making a cyclone of many different coloured flames. Dragons were also able to fly with the uses of their Wings. Most Dragons are variations of red and Blue colours and are very snake like in appearance and are very long animals. [caption id="attachment_3289" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Ran and Shao doing some precision Firebending"]Ran and Shao[/caption] They were used by some people of the Fire Nation as pets and a way of transportation and were very loyal. The use of them as pets stopped when Fire Lord Sozin started the Tradition of hunting them as a way to prove yourself a master Firebender, if you defeated a dragon you earned the title "Dragon". This tradition ended when Iroh claimed to have killed the last dragon, in fact he said this to protect the last 2 remaining Dragons Ran and Shao (Shaw ?) who resided in the mountain near the ruins of the Sun Warriors temple. It is widely presumed that the golden egg artifact " in the sun Warrior temple is in fact a Dragon Egg. The Dragons were able to teach people the true meaning of Firebending, Life not destruction. Presumably The Fire Nation was only able to attack the Air Temples because of the use of dragons. The most well known Dragons are Avatar Roku's red Dragon Fang, Fire Lord Sozin's Blue Dragon and Ran and Shao. Badgermoles [caption id="attachment_3294" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="A fully grown Badgermole, they can be temporarily tamed by playing music as shown by Sokka, Chong and the Nomads, They even rode them out of the maze."]Badgermole[/caption] Badgermoles as their name says are a mix of Badgers and Moles, They are Earth Kingdom Animals and their habitat is underground in caves or in mountains especially the labyrinth on the way to Omashu, The Cave Of Two Lovers. The Badgermoles are in fact the Original Earthbenders, it was Oma and Shu who were the first 2 people to learn Earthbending from them later Toph would learn Earthbending from them. Badgermoles are blind and use their Earthbending as an extension of their senses to see, because of their blindness they have great senses of smell and hearing, Toph who is also blind was able to learn from the Badgermoles to use Earthbending to see. [caption id="attachment_3295" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Badgermoles are sometimes tamed and used to clear and smooth out the arena of Earthbending tournaments."]Badgermole earth zamboni[/caption] Badgermoles are well respected and are Important in Earth Kingdom history, so much so that they feature in the architecture all around the Earth Kingdom. Badgermoles do have eyes but because they prefer to be underground " they are more or less blind, they use their Earthbending to create tunnels to travel underground. Badgermoles love music, it has the ability to calm them down if they ever become enraged. They can be tamed and are often used in Earthbending Tournaments to clear the arena after a fight. They also appear to be a predator of Wolfbats. Shirshu [caption id="attachment_3297" align="aligncenter" width="250" caption="Here is the most well known Shirshu, Nyla"]Shirshu[/caption] A Shirshu is a mix between Anteater, a Star-Nosed mole and a Wolf. They are Rare Earth Kingdom animals and are mainly used for their amazing tracking abilities. Shirshu's have no eyes but they have the best sense of smell of any animal, it is so developed that it can track any smell anywhere in the world, the way this works is that each smell is "seen" as a different colour and it can track that colour's trail anywhere. [caption id="attachment_3298" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="What a Shirshu "Sees""]Shirshu Sight[/caption] They are extremely quick, agile and have great stamina. These creatures are vicious fighters using their whip like tongue as their main weapon, the tongue contains paralyzing toxins, when they strike with their tongue is can cut and it can paralyze for up to 2 hours. The toxin is also used in toxic darts. Its greatest strength, its smell is also its greatest weakness, if there are lots of strong smells near it the Shirshu is basically blind and begins to panic lashing out widely as shown when June's Shirshu, Nyla gets drenched with Perfume. Turtle Ducks [caption id="attachment_3301" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="A mother Turtle Duck and her young."]Turtle Duck[/caption] Turtle Ducks are a mix of a Turtle and a Duck (Obvious), They are Fire Nation animals and are often Kept in ponds. Mother Turtle Ducks are very protective of their Young. They are good swimmers and can presumably fly even though there are no Wings visible. Their Tough shells are also used for protection. Hermit Crab [caption id="attachment_3302" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="A Hermit Crab at the Northern Air Temple"]Hermit Crab[/caption] Another of the Non-Hybrid Animals in Avatar are Hermit Crabs which are nearly identical to their real Life counterparts, they are Air Nomad Animals and are mainly found in the Northern Air Temple, they are Nomadic Animals constantly changing their shells as they grow fitting considering they live alongside the Air Nomads. Fireflies [caption id="attachment_3303" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Fireflies being used as a light source."]Firefly[/caption] Another Non-hybrid animal is a Firefly, Basically a fly that glows a Green colour. They are Air Nomad Animals and are found in caves near Air Temples. They are Commonly used as a non-Fire source of light, they are difficult to catch. That is Part 1, Part 2 will be coming sometime in the Future