A domesticated beast on To'ul'h Prime, about the size of a Shetland Pony.
These tetrapod creatures have wide, low anterior scooping mouths, complete with tusks for rooting and scraping up detritus and saprotrophic organisms. The mouth is carried on a cantilevered appendage, balanced at the posterior end by a short thick caudal appendage which carries a few sense organs. The central spindle is a single hollow unarticulated backbone which contains the brain; from this spindle are articulated all four legs and the anterior and caudal appendages. The anterior appendage carries most of the sense organs (light spots and bristles) while a sonar-like echolocation sense organ is located in a swelling forward of the brain case.
The Shur'rooss'hur have long been domesticated by the To'ul'h; at first simply as a mobile perching platform controlled by pressure from the To'ul'hs sharp claws. Quite heavy objects could be dragged on simple sledges behind these small, but strong creatures.
When the wheel was invented several Shur'rooss'hur were yoked together to pull two-wheeled or four-wheeled vehicles of various sorts, often equipped with a long perch for the wagon-driver which projected far in front over the backs of the draft animals.
Text by Steve Bowers
Initially published on 31 December 2007.