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I'm working on a world for my story and am having a difficult time determining features of an animal that my people would use on this planet.

The planet is earth like astronomically and in composition. but very windy and with land bridges around the world (magic). I don't have fixed speed decided, but it's common to go above earth's fastest recorded speed of 400kmh, sometimes gusting above greatest speed a human can survive, 800kmh.

The people are humans that have technologically/culturally adapted to the planet, but haven't been here long enough for biological adaptations. They are constantly moving around the planet. Their planet does not rotate about its sidereal frame, but still orbits its Earth-like sun. so they have adapted to live between the "day" and "night" side, constantly chasing the sun (to avoid 6 months of no sun). This means the terrain they are perpetually (from their POV) entering just finished 6 months of pure sun.

My question is what type of land-based migratory herd (now domesticated) pack animal would adapt to this environment and what adaptations they would need. These animals, unlike the humans, are native to the planet, so they have whatever biological adaptations they need to survive. They too are perpetually chasing the setting sun. To stay within this habitable twilight band, they must travel about 4.5 km/hr (no more or less, though they can pause for a few days to forage/hunt).

Unless you have ideas for plant-life that can survive 6 months of pure sun, I suspect these pack animals will have to be carnivorous, hunting other animals trying to stay within this band.

Please let me know if I can clarify anything to help you help me answer this.

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  • $\begingroup$ Are your people human ? or are they aliens that have adapted to this high wind speed already ? Are they trying to use these domesticated animals to travel around ? $\endgroup$ Sep 18 '20 at 5:50
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, the people are human. Sorry, I'll edit the question to add that. By magic, they ended up on this planet, and they've been there long enough to technologically and culturally adapt, but not to develop any significant adaptations. Yes, they want to use these pack animals as mounts/pack animals to travel around the planet all-year round. So they are constantly moving. I'll edit the question with more details. $\endgroup$ Sep 18 '20 at 15:25
  • $\begingroup$ are the animals necessarily land animals? how hot/cold does it get in the day/night areas? why do humans enter areas that have 'just finished 6 months of pure sun'? Should not they follow the sun? I expect vegetation will start growing quickly once the area passes from 'night' to 'day', then flower and seed the next generation before the excessive sun dries it out. The next generation of plants will hybernate through the latter part of the 'day' and the whole 'night'. Is this correct? $\endgroup$ Sep 18 '20 at 17:28
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I think that you'll definitely want something low-profile. Just for aesthetic reasons my mind jumps instantly to "giant lizards!" but for pack or herd behavior you'll want something mammalian, most likely. Some sort of giant weasel could be very cool, but I don't think weasels really do a lot of pack behavior. If we're going with currently-extant earth animals, I think a good choice would be sled dogs. There's a long history of sled dogs being used in horribly windy places (like the Antarctic!), there's good pack coordination, and you could engineer the sledge so that it was very low-drag. If you want to go with a fictional animal, you could make a creature with a limpet-like shell, and a lot of empty space underneath the shell. During gusts it could just hunker down, and then when the wind was a little bit better it could move around. You could maybe have a lot of small legs that live inside the shell, so that when it moves it looks like the shell is gliding above the ground? A place to look for inspiration might be intertidal organisms, which are well-adapted to extreme environmental forces.

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  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for your answer. I edited the question with more details. Though, I do like your idea of them having a shell to protect from the heavy winds (and all the projectiles it creates). $\endgroup$ Sep 18 '20 at 15:39
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Your humans could possibly use a Roc for large scale transport and for load-bearing purposes. Rocs are mythological birds similar in appearance to Hawks but big enough to carry an elephant easily. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roc_(mythology) Your birds could ride these strong winds when it favored them and become a small house when they need to rest. The only problem would be how to ride them. Other options would be burrowing creatures akin to the Mongolian death worm or crab-like creatures that move sideways instead of forward to counteract the strong winds.

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