Unis, Part I: Their Biology
Hello, I am fictiongirl45, one of Neopia's greatest scientists. I was originally from another world, but I crash-landed here during a scientific expedition. I found Neopia's life forms to be very interesting, so I have decided to study them, starting with the Uni. There will be several articles about this species, so my studies should last a while. Anyway, let's start by looking at a Uni's body.
A quick note to the concerned:
I have used the following ways of obtaining information, none of which involve hurting Unis or other Neopets of any kind:
- interviewing lilly_skytrotter, my Uni
- studying Unis and Uni care in books
- attending Neopet obedience classes
- observing and/or interviewing wild Unis
Now on to the actual article.
Unis are what the people in my world would call herbivores, meaning they eat only plants. Unis seem particularly fond of grass and carrots. Of course, Unis with owners will eat anything with vegetation. Also, a professional doctor can tell the age of a Uni by looking at its teeth, but I'll write more about that in a future article.
Eyes, ears and nose
A Uni's eyes are on the sides of its head, as they would be for any herbivore. They are like this so that the Uni can keep a sharp eye out for predators (or animals that eat it), which include Grarrls and Skeiths. Also, its pointy ears can hear the sound of an enemy coming. Its nose (the two holes on the end of the face), is equally sensitive. Unis have a stronger sense of smell than most other Neopians. In fact, a mother Uni can identify a foal by its scent, or smell, but more on that another day.
A Uni's horn is one of the first things many people notice about them. The horn is sharp and pointy, which makes for a useful weapon in combat. Also, the horn is another good way of telling the age of a Uni. The longer the horn, the older the Uni.
Legs and hooves
A Uni has four legs, which are right underneath its body. Having four legs makes it possible for a Uni to run very fast. Its hooves also help with this. The hooves always seem to be very clean, but on some Unis, there are flecks of dust on them, but more on this later.
On my home planet, a creature with four legs and two wings could not possibly exist, because there, no known vertebrate has more than four arms, legs, or wings. Here, however, the Uni is just one of many creatures I've seen who breaks this law of nature. It is said that the Uni only has wings just so that it can have something to groom when it's done with the rest of its body. This is not true. Unis can use their wings to fly, but they generally have to stop to rest every ten feet or so, walking until their wings have enough energy to fly again.
Mane and tail
The mane and tail of a Uni are made up of thick hair and always seem to be clean. In spite of being spotless, however, the mane and tail are generally used to keep harmful insects away. The mane protects the neck, and the tail swats the insects.
Most Unis, with the exception of the Tyrannian Uni, have a thin coat of fur. The fur traps heat during the winter, but does not trap too much heat during the summer. The fur always seems sleek and glossy.
Unis live pretty much all over Neopia. In Neopia Central, they live in grassy fields. In Tyrannia, they live where there is enough food to go around (not just grass either). On Terror Mountain, they live in some of the warmer regions, migrating to Neopia's unknown South Pole every winter. In the Haunted Woods, they live in the thicker parts of the woods, where they don't have to deal with enemies very much. In Maraqua, they live close to the surface where they can breathe. On Mystery Island, they live inland, towards the center of the island, where there is more vegetation. On Krawk Island, they live where there is the most grass. In Faerieland, they live close to the city, where the clouds are solid. On Roo Island, they live as far away from the Blumaroo Kingdom as they can get. In Brightvale, they can be seen all over the place. In Shenkuu, they live near the peaks of the mountains. And in Altador, they generally live in the valley, where there is more grass.
Okay, I know that this article is about Uni biology, but I figured I'd throw in a bit of psychology since I have some space left. Contrary to popular belief, Unis are not vain! Well, OK, they're not exactly slobs either; they do spend some time grooming themselves, but they usually only focus five to ten minutes a day on it, and then get back to grazing. The only time they groom themselves for more than that is during March, when males groom their wings a lot so they can impress the females. Even then they generally stop by March 22 and then get back to only grooming for five to ten minutes each day. Also, nine out of ten Unis don't mind getting their hooves a little dirty. Obviously TNT must have seen the other one when they saw Unis for the first time, but let's not get sidetracked. In addition, Unis generally don't look in mirrors that much. In fact, the closest most wild Unis come to even seeing a mirror is looking in the river. But anyone who thinks they saw a Uni looking at their reflection in the water probably saw them checking the water to see if it's safe to drink.
And that pretty much brings us to the end of the article. If you have any questions please Neomail me. Next week, I'll be doing a study on different subspecies of Uni, so keep an eye out for it.