These Arboreal little rodents are naturally white-furred with bright orange and black markings. However, they almost always appear a sickly green color, due to living inside the coconut-like fruits of the Testa tree. They also have long prehensile tails, and hind paws that can turn around backward, both of which aid them in their climbing abilities. They also have long tongues that, when inside their mouths, wrap all the way around their skull.
The Lataxiit’s favorite fruits have a hard outer casing, which makes it no easy task to get into. But the Lataxiit makes it work! First, a young male will typically find a fruit that he deems an appropriate size and strength. Then, it will break into it using its thick, hard fangs. They have powerful jaws that are capable of opening a hundred and fifty degrees wide. However, the wider their mouth, the less leverage, and strength they have for prying the outer casing open. This is why they start by biting holes around in a circle, marking the door to their future home, after which they hook their sturdy fangs into the hole and pry small pieces of the casing out. When enough pieces have broken off, the whole “door” drops to the forest floor below, and with it a large glop of sticky yellow juice containing thousands of seeds, making these creatures an essential part of the dispersal of future Testa tree generations.
After the male has created a door, he will lick up any remaining juice and seeds. These juices and seeds make up over half of the Lataxiits' diet. Then, he will sleep inside his new home. If he’s not already stained green, he will become stained from the flaky iridescent inner skin of the fruit’s shell.
Every day he will patrol and protect his territory from other males, waiting patiently for a female to wander into his turf. He will also create many more holes into the other Testa fruits of his territory, licking up the juice and seeds from inside for his daily water and nutritional needs. He may also catch insects and steal eggs if he feels so inclined.
When a female comes, he will let her do anything she wishes on his turf, and quickly present her to all of the best places to find bugs and drink fruit juice. But his pride and joy will be his home, which he will show her last. When he does, he will make a great show of it by jumping up and down and spinning on top of his roof. Some theorize that this is his way of demonstrating the sturdiness of his home, while others believe that it is a type of courtship dance. However, what his true thoughts and motivations are in doing this ritual is something only he can know.
After the male’s dance routine, the female will inspect the home. If she doesn’t like it, she’ll move on to the next male in line. But if it does meet her fancy, she will stay with him for the rest of her life. Together, they will start a new generation of Lataxiits. Typically, they will bear one to five young every year, and after six months the juveniles will go off to make their own homes and start their own families.
Submitted By AdelineQuinn
Submitted: 1 year ago ・
Last Updated: 1 year ago