Canine At first glance, Chiawas are an odd mix of recognizable creatures. They are built for desert life, and therefore have large ears. Their pads are designed much like a sand cats in that they do not leave behind a trail of footprints in the sand, making them relatively undetectable to other intelligent species. Toes are broad-spread and fingers are long and delicate, all of which end in retractable claws with incredible durability. The tail is rather coon-like in style, fluffed out, something that pertains more to sex appeal than hunting or living. Both male and female have two horns on their head, the males having larger ones, the females having minute ones. Plated bellies lend to this partially draconic appearance. The face and dental structure are canine-like, though the eyes retain a more feline air. Females come equipped with a full set of breasts, though nipples remain absent until pregnancy, when the covering scales liquify and drop away with time for the child's use. Both genders are essentially "bald," meaning they have no head hair, just fur. When moving, chiawas are comparable to felines - slinky and graceful, even when they screw up. Legs, arms, and jaws can be disjointed for better use.
Markings play a large part in the life of a Chiawa. The more wildly colorful and bizarre they are, the more attractive the individual appears to the opposite sex. Because they live in very hot areas, lighter colors are more common, but a whole spectrum of chiawas exists. From the bright colors of the rainbow to things you'd expect to see at a rave, chiawas are widely diverse. Darker colors have emerged as chiawas have been incorporated in to the more modern furry world, moving to cooler climates and having less practical use for their coloring. Because of their attractions to bizarre markings, they often find themselves crushing on things like leopards or zebras, most anything exotic.
Diet, Digestive System, and Urinary System
Chiawas are omnivorious, meaning they will eat anything, but they are mainly carnivores. Some chiawas have adopted a vegan life style, ending with sickly results, this choice being the cause of hair loss, dental failure, and weak immune systems. The stomach of a chiawa is known to digest hair, bone, and meat alike, but more peculiar tests proove that a ball of aluminum can be broken down and passed out of the body, molecule by molecule, in a week.
Thanks to their desert life style, chiawas loose very little water through their stool or urine. This results in a dry, chalky scat and a very pungent-smelling pee. Ancestral behavior showed that, like many animals, messages could be passed through waste, but this behavior has since evaporated thanks to mental advancement.
Where as the intestines are used for passing organic waste, the high-powered kidneys filter anything else out that could cause a problem. This includes metals and minerals, as well as bodily oils that cannot pass through the intestines. Urination must be regular, often times with a bladder half-full, or else the chiawa risks impaction of the urethra.
Chiawas have hyper-sensitive noses that go hand-in-hand with their ancestral scent-messages, having to have an incredibly strong sense of smell to pick up on the dry scat messages. Though urine was the more commonly used, and more easily noticed, method, scat messages were usually used as want adds for mates, displays of estrus, ect. ect. In a desert environment where other individuals would be hard to find, these messages were very important in reproducing and passing your genes on, so both males and females developed highly sensitive shnozes.
These noses could also be used to hunt down prey over long distances, or to seek out carrion in hard times. Other uses include finding underground reserves of water or burrowing small prey.
Today the modernized Chiawas have no such uses for their noses, but they have adapted to using their sniffer talents well. They are often used for drug busts on police teams, or tracking down a felon. It also makes many of them exceptional chefs, perfume manufacturers, or bounty hunters. Often times the modern Chiawa nose is offended by strong scents like alchohol and cigarettes. This leaves the Chiawa audience for such narcotics particularly low.
Auditory and Vestibular Systems
The ears of the chiawa are also sensitive, thanks to their large size and tightly coiled cochlea. The ears originally developed this size to regulate body temperature, much like a fennec fox or desert hare, but gained other uses as well. These large ears, usually folded and back against the shoulder blades, can be flarred up and unfurled to better pin-point sound. They twitch in the direction of the distrubance much like a cat's. When flarred, these ears could be put to the ground to locate hiding prey, or to listen for calls from a nearby potential mate.
Today this talent has developed in to something new - the musical ear. Every chiawa is born with a particularly well-tuned ear, able to notice the slightest of tone changes. This is why they make good musicians and music teachers/instructors. They can also still use these mostrous ears in the tracking of sport or bounty prey. Despite their sensitivity, they are not often offended by loud racket like Death Metal music or alarms. This is because they can contract the Auditory Canal, allowing them to choose how much sound gets through, much like plugging your ears.
Cat-like grace and balance is acheived with a particularly well-tuned Vestibular System, able to sense movement on four spatial planes rather than the usual three. The hair on the Vestibule are also super fine, with a bundle of nerves to each hair rather than just one or two. These talents provided the well-oiled machinery that is Chiawa locomotion, allowing them to run on slippery sand, up and down over crests and drops.
Today these talents lend them to the performing arts, allowing them to excede in acrobatics, dancing, and even martial arts.
Chiawas are a wildly erratic group of furres who borderline on insanity, equipped with short attention spans and the males with even shorter tempers. They are a whimsical group, obsessive over anything that might tickle their fancy for the moment. What may be described as ADHD consumes most of the race, leaving their intelligence unjudged, since stupidity seems to be more fun for them. Secretly, many are deeply introspective, and it is rumored the best of geniuses are to be found among their ranks...if you're willing to dig.
This common-place weirdness is often attributed to high metabolisms combined with fatty diets. The over dose of energy used to be helpful for long hunts for scarce food in the desert, often stretching over many days. However in modern society this just results in alot of energy that needs to be used, often causing the species as a whole to be concidered social outcasts. Some of the more enthusiastic furres of the community find they can put up with their peppy activities. Thanks to this energy-burning notion, it is practically impossible for a Chiawa to become over-weight, unless they manage to out-eat their metabolism. This could result in stomach or intestinal ruptures, or even cardiac arrest.
Mating and Romance
The chiawa is an affectionate race, often cuddley to even those of the same gender. This is an odd development of psychosis as their desert-dwelling ancestors were mainly solitary until they found a suitable mate.
Chiawas are only impregnable twice a year, in January and in July, for a short estrus-cycle of only three days. This leaves them plenty of time to hunt down a suitable mate, or at least it did, when romance was all based on instinct and tradition.
In the modern world Chaiwas are just as romantically interested as the rest of the furry population. They date what they're attracted to, though most of them practice a hearty amount of abstinence, seeing as they are highly seseptable to STDs. Though Chiawas weigh alot of respect on a mate that can put up with their behavior outside of their species, some of the isntinct to look for markings remains, swaying what they find attractive in to an exotic favor. Chiawas will usually seek out other Chiawas for only then can they develop the Life Bond, a mental tie-off that instigates undying love and devotion (often times to the point where if one partner dies, the other perishes withing mintues to days.) They will mate with other species, but marriage is usually sniffed out, the chiawa's artificial way of mimicking that bond.
The old displays of mating dances have long since died, but often when dating, a chiawa will subconciously note every nick and cranny of their partner's physique early on. Unknowingly critical, they won't stay with an unsuitably possesed suitor for more than a week. Attracted to grace, often times a Chiawa will seek out a feline, who are sleek in movement and often colorfully decorated. Dragon and avian furres are not aliens to Chaiwas either.
The Chaiwa and Clothes
They just don't mix. Evolving from a desert society, they never had the use for clothing to keep them warm, and find that it covers their markings far too much to be attractive. The only time a Chaiwa will wear clothing is when society forces them to, like for a job, or to enter some shops. However, the naked chiawa form does not offend, for any reproductive tid-bits are safely tucked away under plate scales until they are needed. Chiawas that are clothed are often jittery and nervous, as they feel contained by the unfamiliar feeling of cloth against fur, something they have gone most of their evolution without.
Chiawa females, however, are often drawn in to the "adorable world of accessorizing," wearing fingerless gloves, chains, necklaces, bracelets, any kind of jewelry. Females have a natural fascination with metalic things, or nice stones, since a potential mate will often give them gifts that they must give a thorough assesment.
Chiawas are known shape-shifters, holding two forms beyond their furre form. Quadrupedal (or feral) and Monstrosity. The quadrupedal form could be compared to an eastern-style dragon, long bodied with a mane that grows in along the spine. The lengthened body leaves them equiped to display more markings, and this often leaves the quadrepedal form as their courting form, using it to impress the ladies. The Monstrosity form, something that could be compared to a were, is a bulky, bipedal form much like the quad form. A mane trails down to the base of the tail, which thickens and becomes more practical, the delicate fingers thicken as limbs lengthen, and the body's muscle mass nearly triples. The most dangerous weapon in this form is probably the jaws, which have been known to provide power enough to snap through three inches of steel (though not without harm to the teeth of the user.) It is in this form that cat-like grace is most prominent, allowing the bulk to be handled with a steady hand.