Everything you want to know about...
Baby Puckoo: Bub
Group of Puckoos: A Dunce
Commonly referred to as the “sand puckoo”, ringadots are feisty little desert-dwelling creatures that are very common in dry locals where the more common puckoo cannot survive. These quick scamps have sleek, aerodynamic fins and strong legs more than adept at speeding them through loose sandy terrain. They are equally as stupid as their puckoo cousins, and farmed in a very similar way.
Ringadot vs. Puckoo
Puckoos are colored similar to koi fish, with spots and patches or yellow/orange/black. Ringadots however, are much plainer, sporting a sandy look to blend in with their environment. They also have signature "ring" markings! (But not always!)
Puckoo females are bald, while males have a finny frill on their heads. Ringadots however, all sport a single sharp fin on their heads.
Puckoo have a forked fin tail, while ringadots have a single shaped fin tail.
Both male species have a droopy set of whiskers hanging from their mouths.
Puckoo require lakes or wet areas to thrive, while ringadots prefer drier, arid areas.
Ringadots have smaller, oval pupils compared to the large round eyes of the puckoos.
Like puckoo, ringadots have a unique diet that consists mostly of small rocks.
They don't actually eat them, but instead scrape off all the bacteria, moss, and other microscopic stuff from the surface. They spit the rocks out once they are sucked dry.
Ringadots have also been observed sifting sand through their mouths when wallowing in it. It’s theorized that ringadots manage to scrape some nutritional value from any bacteria in the sand. That... or they’re just too dense to completely close their mouths when sand-bathing.
In the Wild
Ringadots commonly live in dry, desert areas and are never found naturally in any other climate due to their very specific desert adaptations. In fact, living in climates with high moisture in the air can lead to fungal growth on the ringadot’s skin that can lead to itching, infection, and even dire illness if the ringadot is not cared for properly.
They live in large dunces of up to 12-30 grown individuals, roaming between rocky desert locations.
They often live close to or alongside quarry ori droves, specifically around the ori’s nesting grounds. Ringadots often sneakily take over ori nests before the ori egg is laid, filling the pre-dug hole with their own eggs before burying them so they can incubate. The ringadots use the oris as large would-be protectors against bigger predators, having learned the massive oris won’t bother them. The oris in turn do not chase off the ringadots, as the smaller runners are good decoys for sneakier desert predators that would otherwise go after the ori’s next generation of chicks.
Unlike the proliffic puckoo, ringadots only lay 2-6 eggs per clutch, and only during the more temperate early spring months of the desert season. This ensures their population remains steady without overwhelming their natural resources. Although in captivity, the ringadots commonly produce significantly more eggs.
Owning a Ringadot
Ringadots are not a common (or desirable) livestock animal. They are much more feisty and flighty than puckoo, and far more prone to difficulties when kept in captivity. Ringadots require a very dry environment with plenty of sand for bathing in, and a massive living space compared to their diminutive size. Even in drier areas such as Last Notch, livestock farmers prefer creating artificial ponds and keeping puckoo, rather than ringadots.
They require a large dunce in order to be happy, as a ringadot in a group that’s too small (or by itself) startles and panics at any little thing, along with generally living a very stressed (and likely short) captive life. Ringadots require high numbers to feel secure. Luckily, they can be placed in with puckoo dunces quite easily.
Even when reared by wyngrew from hatching, ringadots tend to be harder to tame than their puckoo cousins. They have a more active life-style, and are less domesticated than puckoos. In fact, many believe the ringadot to be an insight on a puckoo before it was domesticated so heavily.
In most drier towns and quarries, ringadots are considered a pest animal. Their tendency to bolt in a mass often lead to dunces of ringadots tripping up passerby wyngrew or quarry workers when they inevitably get spooked and flee. They are also more inquisitive than puckoos, often moving things around or overturning objects in their search for tasty rocks.
As a result, ringadots are often a common food staple in drier places. They taste quite similar to puckoo, though many food connoisseurs consider ringadot the gamier meat.
Many wyngrew set traps for them in quarry sites, or send in coatala to hunt them. Although easy to be rid of, because of their short life span, the little pests inevitably always seem to come back after a while.