Canidrakes are a well-known and relatively common species of darkeyed dragon, which due to convergent evolution and perhaps some magic resemble wolves but are bigger-most Canidrakes are like dire wolves, about 6 feet long, 3 feet tall at the shoulder, but some Canidrakes manage to reach sizes akin to a bear.

Like wolves, Canidrakes are smart and persistant pack hunters that possess fur. Unlike wolves, however, Canidrakes are mesotherms, possess extra ribs (these protect the neck and belly) and scales (scales cover their bodies in places), are better at conserving water (like reptiles, they produce uric acid instead of urine), and their heads are more reptilian.

Basically, they're bigger and have better defenses, due to extra ribs, having a body entirely covered in scales and fur so hard and sharp it's basically quills, with stockier, thicker builds and longer tails. This means they're relatively slow, and likely need more food than regular wolves. Because of this, I suspect Canidrakes could coexist alongside regular wolves, and that their different physiology would lead to them having a different ecological niche. However, my question is, What Would a Canidrake's Niche Be?

Specifications for Best Answer:

  1. Canidrakes are essentially wolves (with the differences stated above, of course), but being descended from drakes, they are genetically closest related to dinosaurs, birds, and reptiles, in that order. This is why they are mesotherms, why their skin is scaly, and why they have extra ribs. The best answer should take their origins into account when determining the ecological niche of Canidrake, which will be living in forests and grasslands just like regular wolves do IRL.

  2. Canidrakes are bigger, tougher, but also slower and more energy-intensive than regular wolves, and considering their origins, may not be capable of persistence hunting like regular wolves. The best answer should take the differences between Canidrakes and wolves into account when determining their niche.

Thanks for your feedback, and let me know if further information is needed!


1 Answer 1



Bears? Really? He mentioned bears already, he'll totally see this coming. Yes, bears. But first let me show you the full though process like you asked:

  • Defense: wolf < carnidrake
  • Speed: carnidrake > wolf
  • Attack: wolf < carnidrake
  • (Bonus perk: carnidrakes conserve water)

Simply put: they're powerhouses compared to wolves, but lack the speed. They are quite fast still, something close to 50-56 km/h as is the case with bears. Deer and moose also run at speeds close to 50-56 km/h. However, wolves run at 50-60 km/h, they can more easily close the distance. Running at the same speed range as your prey is not ideal, unless you intend to tire them out, in which case going slower and following a scent trace would be better. Bottom line is: not fast enough.

Hunting styles:

  • Rushdown: chase and claw your prey. (carnidrakes not fast enough.)

  • Ambush: hide and take the prey by surprise. (carnidrakes too big to hide.)

  • Stalkers: follow prey until they run out of stamina or fall asleep. (maybe...)

  • Looters: take over/steal the prey or nests/dens of other creatures. (absolutely!)

Simply put: they can't chase/ambush their own prey with much success. They can however endure attacks (especially teeth and claws) and have the raw strength and size necessary to overpower others. The best use they'd find for this is to wait for other predators to kill a prey animal, then scare them away and eat their kill. This is called kleptoparasitism (parasitism by theft) but other animals just call it being a jerk.

If this first "hunting" strategy doesn't work, they can always fall back on stalking prey. Carnidrakes, as you mentioned, are good at conserving water. In addition I believe their metabolism would be slightly lower than mammals of their size. This would mean that they would make great stalking predators. They don't need to drink as often so they could cooperate to keep their prey away from bodies of water to make them either thirst to death or come near water anyway and get killed. The requisite for this hunting strategy is a keen sense of smell.

The third option is being ovivorous (egg eaters). With a strong body and keen sense of smell, carnidrakes could easily locate and raid the dens/nests of other animals with little to no resistance. This is not limited to eggs but rather the offspring of animals in general.

In conclusion, carnidrakes are somewhat similar to bears.

I say somewhat because they have individual differences but overall fall into the same category. Bears don't really chase their prey, they steal the kill of other animals or scavenge for food. They are also known to steal honey from bees and the like. Bears are solitary animals, which is where they differ from carnidrakes. (Plus, if it gets cold they hibernate, which I guess could be similar to carnidrakes.)

They could also be compared to monitor lizards. Likewise too slow to give chase to their prey, these lizards stalk a wide range of animals and eat carrion and eggs as well.

What do carnidrakes eat?

You didn't specify an environment but it doesn't matter, I'll be vague to compensate. Carnidrakes feed mostly on carrion, which could be anything as long as it meets their high energy demand (small animals are little more than a snack). Packs share the same food, either equally or unequally, and so get lower amount of energy from it compared to if they hunted alone. However, carnidrakes aren't warm blooded, meaning they consume less energy overall. This also means they are more sluggish so they are less capable of chasing prey, which means pack hunting may be their best strategy after all.

In short: big pack = big prey.

  • $\begingroup$ So they'll be stalky, scavenging, pack-bears? Cool, but will they outcompete other bears? $\endgroup$
    – Alendyias
    Feb 16, 2022 at 19:04
  • $\begingroup$ Of course they can outcompete other bears, just see a pack of wolves attacking a bear $\endgroup$
    – Leviathan
    Feb 16, 2022 at 19:06
  • $\begingroup$ @Asmodeus: Well, yes, but just because a species can doesn't mean they will, and my setting logically lacking bears would be an important detail! In other words, I need to make sure on this. $\endgroup$
    – Alendyias
    Feb 16, 2022 at 19:09

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