Anola (Anola grevii)
An arboreal omnivore native
to Pysadi (3008 Spinward
Marches), occurring nowhere else in the wild or in captivity.
are considered holy by the Mother
of Pysadi. Their export, capture, or study by any but
those high in the
religious hierarchy is banned. They are kept in special,
garden preserves and are cared for by specially appointed
one of these animals is a capital offense. Although anolas are
encountered in the wild on Pysadi, those close to civilized
been taken into the preserves.
Anolas mass an average of 3 kilograms, and are usually
between 50 and 75 centimeters in length, including their two prehensile
tails. Since anolas were known only from poorly preserved pelts
off-planet, for many years there were thought to be three species, but
as more complete specimens became available, it was determined that the
three different types were only different sexual phases of one species.
Respiration is accomplished by paired lungs in the upper
chest cavity. The circulatory system is closed, with a pair of
hearts moving the blood. Gas exchange is typical, making use of
hemoglobin. Details of the neuro-muscular system and the
are not presently available. Anolas are now known to be
and the three phases are stages in sexual development. Upon
an anola's male system becomes active, the female system remaining
Under certain conditions, the male system degenerates, glands for the
of the young develop, and the male becomes a neuter, or parental.
certain conditions, the female system of a parental will activate, and
the individual becomes a female. Little is known for certain
details of the reproductive cycle, but the following is currently the
sequence of events.
Anolas live in small groups. Five adults is the average
size, one male, three parentals of varying ages and one female.
mate soon after assuming the female phase, and soon bear a litter of
cubs. The birth process is hard, and she is quite weakened from
for about three months afterward. With each successive litter,
become weaker, and few survive their third.
When the female dies, it appears that the lack of a certain
pheromone triggers the female organs in the oldest neuter into
and that neuter becomes female within a few weeks. The change in
of the parental pheromones causes the male to become a parental.
then seeks out a new male as rapidly as possible.
Each phase (male, female, and neuter) has its own distinct
pattern of fur coloration, density, and length, caused by hormone
associated with the shift in sex.
Several universities, zoos, and xenobiological institutes
have offered substantial rewards for live anolas. Wealthy animal
are reported to offer as much as Cr7,000,000 for a breeding group (five
adults, as outlined above).