Species: Nighfler(s)

Name - Nighfler(s)

Pronunciation - NY-flurr(z)

Founder - Rell, a small (five feet long) silver female with aquamarine eyes. Due to her average appearance, she's thought to still be alive, but blending in amongst her descendents. Nighflers think highly of her, mostly because she convinced the other sentient species that her race is not only sentient but also to be respected and NOT eaten.

Length and Wingspan - Nighflers have a wide range of sizes, varying from two to fifteen feet; half of their length consists of beak but mostly tail (they've long tails, usually two-fifths of their length, and their long beaks consist of the remaining length). Wingspan is usually about three times the length of their torso (aka half their total length), so it varies from 3-25 feet.

Physical Description - Nighflers are warm-blooded, flying reptiles that rather resemble Earth pterodactyls. They have long, sharply-toothed beaks; long forked tongues; large, perfectly round eyes; long, slender, rather rabbit-like ears; and long backwards-swept crests through which they "sing" and make other non-speech sounds. Their necks are medium-length and strong, giving them surprising power when jabbing with their beaks, and their torsos are light and slender, though deeper-chested as their size increases. Their wings are draconic, surprisingly powerful, with suede-like membranes and slender but bendable wingbones (which means they aren't as fragile as they appear). Their hindlegs are fairly long and rather muscular, considering their size, and end in three-toed talons with long, hawk-like claws. Nighfler hide is smooth and rather like snakeskin. These fliers have very keen binocular-type eyesight, as well as a good sense of hearing when they aren't flying, but their sense of smell is less than average. Nighflers, being such light and agile fliers, tend to eat fish or small avians (which they snatch mid-flight), but can also stomach berries and fruits.

Coloration - Nighflers have a huge range of colors and markings. They can basically be any color at all with any type of marking, such as stripes, spots, shading, etc. Their eyes tend to be either pastels or neons (like pink, purple, green, blue, etc), and their wing membranes are usually a bit lighter in color than the rest of them (though this generalization isn't always true). Their claws are usually silvery or grey, but can be white or black, sometimes even gold-ish. Most Nighflers, especially females, have very colorful or otherwise noticeable crests.

Temperament - Nighflers are often considered to be ditzy and nonsensical by other races, but this is untrue. They're light-hearted beasts who love aesthetic beauty and to play — they like having fun, looking pretty, and flying. Despite this attitude, they're highly intelligent and quite perceptive, as well as very sensitive — they get offended easily, but they're also easily flattered and pleased. Nighflers are good companions to have, as they tend to be optimistic and cheery.

Culture - Nighflers, for the most part, are exceedingly social creatures that live in flocks. These flocks can be as small as five Nighflers or as large as five hundred, depending on the area and the abundance of food and roosting places. Also, Nighflers' sociability is not limited to their own species — a Nighfler who wants some company is just as likely to flutter around a Derrva's head to make conversation as he is to find another Nighfler. However, although they're very social, Nighflers don't place so much emphasis on finding a mate and raising chicks; "falling in love" tends to be a casual affair with mutual affection and reasonable devotion, but very informal and loose compared to most species' matehoods. Nighfler raise as many clutches, which have two to ten eggs, as they want to, providing there's enough resources in their area to support the new tummies. Nighfler gestation period is only two months, eggs hatch after one week, and chicks are grown in one year; Nighflers, compared to most species, don't live very long — an old Nighfler would be forty years old.

Habitat - Nighflers like high places. Big Nighflers usually roost in little niches in sheer cliff or canyon walls, dragging grass and other soft things there to make their nest comfortable, while smaller Nighflers prefer trees of all kinds. Though they're warmblooded, Nighflers have no fur or feathers to protect their rather sensitive skin from the elements, so they tend to live in warm climates, even preferring flat-out hot weather to anything chilly; however, those Nighflers who live in seasonal areas simply gather together when it gets cold to act as a massive self-heater with all their body-warmth.

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