Garden Goblins, also called Sci'ra in some cultures, are mammalian creatures characterised by stout bodies, short snouts, large eyes and ears and much fluff. Like dogs, there are several breeds of Garden Goblin which can mate and produce crossbreeds. They are usually found in places with light foliage (such as gardens and small forests) but have a tendency to wonder into human dwellings. Litters consist of 1-6 joeys. The gestation period is three months, during which time several females find a secluded patch of forest or den and hide away. Males provide for the females in this time, but are not permitted inside the den.
COMMON GARDEN GOBLIN
Most common breed, grow to a maximum of 20cm tall. Usually coloured brown, orange or grey with patterns such as spots, dapples, patches or socks. Short fluffy tails and stubby fingers - some have long nails depending on environment. Small, soft scales can be found on the backs of the males and is believed to be a secondary sexual characteristic in that they are used to attract mates but are not directly involved in reproduction.
Big-Eared Garden Goblin
Uncommon breed found mostly in tropical areas with low human population. Characterised by large, rigid ears, having only two fingers and three toes on each hand - presumably evolved to retrieve insects from tight spaces behind tree bark and within tree roots. Have skinnier tales than other breeds of Garden Goblin and are usually a shade of grey. Grow to a size of up to 30cm (including ears). Many specimens have been spotted high in trees, leading to the conclusion that they are semi-arboreal.
Fancy Garden Goblin
Largest and rarest of the Garden Goblin breeds, growing up to 60cm in height. These creatures are commonly seen hopping around in semi-open areas such as fields, empty blocks and beaches. They are characterised by their bright colouration and patterns which are exhibited by both males and females. Colours documented include red, pink, purple, blue, yellow and white. They have long fluffy tails and curled ears, further setting them apart from other varieties of Garden Goblin.
Lesser Garden Goblin
Lesser Garden Goblins are common in households with very old or very young people. They are companions for those who are misunderstood or lonely. We usually only see these creatures when they are falsely reported as pests by family members of their chosen companions or when their companion dies or rejects them and they have no where else to go. They are the smallest of Garden Goblins - only about 15cm long at maximum - and feed on cockroaches and other insects. They can be violently protective of their companions and come in bright colours - likely to amuse their younger companions.
Ancient Garden Goblin
Ancient Garden Goblins are so called not because they evolved earlier than other breeds of Garden Goblin, but because they are smug and condescending little blighters who look like little grandpas. They show an intelligence far above other Garden Goblins and appear to lack the flight of fight instinct usually found in the animal kingdom. Most of the time when we collect one, they simply give us a patronising look and do not openly attempt any form of escape or attack... until suddenly they pick the right opportunity and vanish. Attracted to public places, they feed primarily on human snacks.
Australian Dragons is the common term for a class of winged quadrupeds and bipeds. Unlike the dragons of most countries, Australian dragons have an abundance of both fur and scales – some varieties also have feathers instead of wing membrane and spines. It is unknown exactly why these reptiles express features commonly associated with mammals, reptiles and birds, but it is speculated that some inter-species breeding may have resulted in these fascinating creatures. Due to this mix of traits, they are considered to belong to a class unknown to most humans - Bimamiles. Within this class there are a variety of species including Dracals, Wyrlls, Ampyths, Luans and Virns.
Habit varies depending on species - higher populations are often found in human-free areas such as islands, forests and deserts. Diets consist of small creatures such as mice, snakes and geckos, though variation is seen between the species and breeds.
Dracals are extremely intelligent and illusive. Those who do come into contact with humans often disappear within moments; however, in very rare cases a strong bond can be established between humans and Dracals. Observation has lead to the belief that Dracals have a full verbal language, though not one that can be mimicked by humans due to differences in mouth and vocal cord anatomy. This species is characterised by the presence of feathered wings and crests, fur and spines. Hind paws are similar to those of birds with three toes at the front and one at the back, likely to aid in landing and grasping, and three fingers and a thumb on fore paws.
Ampyths are distant relatives of the Mexican Amphithere - unlike their cousins, they are furred with feathery crests and have wings made from scale-like toughened fur plates (similar in composition to echidna quills). Like their relatives, they are characterised by the presence of only vestigial legs or lack of functional legs. They move in a manner similar to snakes and are extremely well adapted to semi-aquatic environments such as creek mouths and swamps. Their skin secretes an oil which protects them from the water and reduces friction created by loose hair in the water.
Wyrlls are cousins of the European Dragon or Wyrm. Like Dracals, they possess six limbs total - two wings and four legs - and have similar paw anatomy. However, where the Dracals have feathers, Wyrlls have scales and membrane. Their wings are similar to bats in that they have finger-like digits webbed with thin membrane to enable flight. This species is most common in desert environments, though some can be found in heavily populated human areas. They can be extremely aggressive and territorial towards humans and other Wyrlls alike - they are rarely found in groups save for in mating season.
Luans are the only wingless species of Australian Dragon. They are similar in appearance to Asian Lungs, but possess no inexplicable flight capabilities. Like other Australian Dragons, they have fur-covered bodies and scales and feathers. Brightly coloured feathers are expressed by the males during mating seasons only and are shed once the season is over - they rest of the time their feathers are black, white or brown, depending on the breed and habitat. Most Luans can be found in cities where females collect shiny objects to decorate their bowers for mating season. Courtship is based around a male's compatibility to the theme of a female's bower.
Aside from their furred bodies, Virns are similar in anatomy to the Wyverns of other countries. They are the most variable of Australian Dragons in regards to size - some breeds are as small as 15cm, whereas others stand over 2 metres tall. Large varieties are especially elusive due to necessity, and are critically endangered as a result of hunting in the 1800s and current human occupancy of thier territories. Most can only be found in remote areas in high mountain regions or in the middle of vast rainforest areas. They are proud creatures and can occasionally be spotted in old ruins or castles - hence the legends of dragons ruling castles. Smaller breeds exhibit similar behavioural traits, but do so in larger flocks and can get away with it due to their size and ability to hide.
Gryphons (sometimes spelled Griffon or Griffin) are bird-mammal hybrids. They generally have furry bodies, beaks and feathered wings. Most species grow no larger than the size of a dog, though there are ancient tales of far larger beasts – it is believed these larger creatures went extinct over a hundred years ago, due to hunting and habitat destruction, Gryphons are abundant in all environments. Their diets vary as much as their breeds; there are documented accounts of carnivorous, insectivorous, and frugivorous varieties. Gryphons lay eggs in clutches during spring time. Nests can be spotted in trees, on powerlines and on rocks, closely resembling those of common birds. Most Gryphons are noble creatures who form strong attachments to others, regardless of species. They are considered the good Samaritans of the Beast world.
Scrubland Gryphons are feisty little buggers. They are by far the most uncivilised of the Gryphons – savages amid royalty. Unlike others of their species, most show no inclination towards loyalty or bravery and form very strenuous attachments to people, if any at all. They are usually found in areas of low human population, especially around the centre of Australia. They feed mostly on small reptiles and mammals.
Zebra Gryphons are extremely rare and elusive. They are only found on remote islands off the coast of Queensland - mostly around the Great Barrier Reef. Because of their isolation, distinct differences in markings and beak shapes can be seen between the Gryphons on each island. They have been documented extensively by Sanctuary workers studying natural selection and are considered the Darwin Finches of the mythical world. They prey mostly on crustaceans found around the islands. Unlike a lot of other Gryphons, these creatures are talented swimmers. Most that are brought to the Sanctuary were found tangled in crab traps and nets.
Miniature Gryphons are perpetual babies - or at least that's how they appear. They are usually the size of a bantam chicken or kitten and have large, adorable eyes that melt the hearts of all who see them. It has been joked that this cuteness is their primary defence against predators, but in reality it is more likely their ability to quickly burrow that protects them. They have only paws (rather than talons, like other species of gryphon) and feed on nuts and berries rather than other creatures.
The word Chimaera describes a number of species that exhibit both human-ish and animal traits. They are intelligent beings who occupy a society very similar to our own, but hidden from us in abandoned and underground places. Many are quite able to build their own infrastructure, but choose not to in favour of protecting the environment and re-using what humans have written off. There are as many varieties of chimaera as there are stars in the sky - at the Sanctuary, we have encountered many, but far from all. You may have heard of some of the common species - Sphynx, Faeries and Seraph.They treat the Sanctuary like a hospital, pet shop and zoo most of the time and are only admitted/adopted out at their convenience.
Seryph are a form of Chimaera who exhibit traditionally avian traits - usually wings, tails and feathers in the place of hair. They are named after the biblical beings that they were once mistaken for, though these creatures are not angelic in the slightest. They are petty creatures who tend to have a fondness for collecting things; individuals usually form an attachment to one particular thing and spend their lives obsessed with them. These obsessions can be anything from animals to ordinary items, plants or gems. They generally grow to a size of 15-20cm, so are able to move about with surprising agility and can fly - if they were human size, their weight would be too much.
Sphynxes exhibit parts of feline, avian and human physiology. Many seem to have an innate disdain for humans - possibly because they are many times more intelligent. There are tales that the Sphynxes of old guided humanity through its greatest discoveries and achievements, until they decided that humanity is either too silly or now advanced enough to not need any more assistance... depending on who you ask; these tales are all told by Sphynxes, however, so it is unknown how accurate they are. Sphynxes are secretive by nature, but can be rather chatty if you stroke their egos a little. Very little is known about their biology and evolution due to this secrecy.
Phoenixes are a form of rare elemental bird. Tales of these stunning creatures can be found in many ancient cultures. Until recently, it was believed that these were merely legends; however, there have been several sightings in remote regions of these and other elemental birds. One case has been brought to the Sanctuary, proving their existence once and for all. Unlike the creatures of myth, phoenixes are feathered in bright plumage which is not made of fire, but can be set alight without harm to the bird due to a flammable protective oil on the feathers. It is unknown how or why this trait evolved.
Kyrin are small mammalian creatures with antlers, feathered wings and expressive ears. They are extremely curious critters and form attachments to other species quickly, though are often territorial around other Kyrin. Females have furred tails whereas males have feathered ones, believed to be for territorial and courtship display purposes. Kyrin are herbivorous and seem to have a particular fondness for flowers. Habitat consists of thin forested areas, usually near water. Females build nests from plant matter in holes in the ground or cracks in rocks.They are a critically endangered species and efforts are being made to breed them in captivity - the first successful breeding was 2016 at the Sanctuary and resulted in three beautiful pups.