Disclaimer: This question is the first of a new series of questions of mine about introducing hexapedae to the fauna of my conworld. There are/will be other questions addressing i.a.: ecosystems, evolutionary factors, taxonomy
Setting: In my conworld the world is divided into two humongous continents, each taking up about half of the total landmass of the planet. Each located at the Northern and Southern poles respectively.
1 Equatorial Belt | Saltwater
2 | Saltwater
5 Northern Polar Sea | Saltwater
6 | Sweetwater
Creature: The Beast-of-Burden (further BOB) is quite versatile. Despite its size and weight it can move quite fast - not anywhere near horses, mind you; though it prefers a more lumbering pace and gait. It has roamed the northern regions of the continent for as far back as anyone can think and prove and although it is not the only hexapedal mammal, it certainly is the most prominent in our lifes.
Even though its got quite a temper and stubbornness to it, domestication proved easy enough according to historical texts. Since the olden days its role in our daily life has changed little. It still is used in agriculture and similar areas, harnessed in front of plows and carts; and it still is used as a pack-animal nearly anywhere the automotives with their heavy engines and tyres can't go. Even the military with their airships still make use of them.
Now besides their use in labour there's not much else they're good for. Their coat doesn't grow thick enough to be worth shearing and spinning into thread. Butchering them does not yield much meat compared to their size and their consumption of plant matter, alas the few bits are quite delicious. Their long gestation and the fact that they drop multiple younglings (similar to dogs) would make one think they'd be good for dairy; but their milk has this weird tang that just makes you want to pour it into the sink - though it's amazingly rich.
- Hexapedal (6-legs)
- Adults somewhat taller than oxen, caribous, bisons, etc.
- Broad backs allowing for carrying things and young animals
- Cannot swim, do not float (see the addendum at the end of the question)
- Natural lifespan of some 30-40 years
- Northern part of the northern continent
- Mountains & Valleys
- Two sexes
- Long gestation
- Multiple younglings
- Do only produce offspring once or twice in life
- Live in small herds
- Multiple males and females
- Pairings don't stay together
- Whole group/herd cares for younglings
- Do not easily scare
- Protective of their group and younglings
- Quite ferocious when incited
- Herbivores, feed on grass, mosses, bushes, etc.
- Multiple stomachs, ruminate food
- Coat/Wool: similar to bisons/goats
- Meat: comparatively small yield when butchered, mostly stringy
- Dairy: weird after-taste, very rich in nutrients
Question: Does my thinking add up? Are there any big issues/contradictions in how this species looks, lives exists?
The question does not ask for the plausibility of a six-legged mammal in general.
Questions about the taxonomical branch and other similar creatures in the ecosystem will come later.
Questions on how it ends up in this specific niche of nature will come later but can be addressed in answers here as well.
- Cannot swim, do not float: The idea behind this is related to big earth-animals such as e.g. Hippos. The BOBs are too heavy/dense in build as well as featuring a coat of fur/hair; thus they have difficulties in swimming, as in being in waters that are deeper as they can stand. They would/will still ford rivers and move into waters less deep than they can stand.
- Definition of swim according to the merriam-webster (emphasis mine):
a : to float on a liquid: not sink
b : to surmount difficulties: not go under