Pern Animal Reference


Runner is the Pernese word for horse. The first settlers on Pern brought several breeds of horse with them, mostly practical working breeds and ponies, with few of the sporty race or show horses. Over time, the language shifted, and people started referring to the animals as runners. Eventually, sport breeds re-emerged to create runners for racing and such. At least one incident occurred in which the runner population was severely decreased by disease, which served to strengthen the animals by weeding out the weak. Runners are a large hoofed mammal having a long mane and tail, which is used for riding, drawing or carrying loads. There are three groups consisting of pony, light and heavy.

Ponies differ from runners by their unique character and size. They are deeper through the body in relation to their height, while the length of their head is usually equal to their whiter-to-point-of-shoulder measurement, and that of the back from whither to croup. They are surefooted and have a developed sense of self-preservation.

Light runners exhibit the conformational features that make it suitable to be ridden. The form of the back allow a saddle to be fitted easily and the first eight "true" ribs are flat, so that the saddle sits behind the 'trapezius' muscle. The ten "false" ribs are rounded and "well-sprung". The withers are clearly defined, and the slope of the shoulders is about 60 degrees. The heavy runner, or draft, gives an impression of weight combined with strength. The body is wide and the back is broad, often accompanied by rounded whithers, which may be higher than the croup. They have a heavily muscled body, particularly over the loin and quarters. Their shoulders are relatively upright to accommodate collars, and the legs are thick and short. Most have pronounced feathering on the lower legs.

Many new breeds of runner were created on Pern, most of which correspond to Terran breeds of horse. some of the most common are:
Standardbreed- Thoroughbred, Standardbred
Hill Runner- Connemara
Shire- Shire, Percheron
Mineholder- Shetland, Chincoteague
Light Carter- Pretty much everything, a mutt breed
Southern Draft- Clydesdale
Igenbred- Arab
Katz Desertbred - Anglo-Arab
Telgar Draft - Suffolk Punch
Working - Morgan
Plains Walker - Tennessee Walking Horse, American Saddlebred
Benden Mountain Pony - Welsh Mountain Pony
Tillek Curly - American Bashkir Curly
Sattle Draft - Noriker
Southern Marshbred - Andalusian
Southern Stripe/Sprinter - Mustang/Arab
Sport/Southern Racer - Shagya Arab
Istan Waterbred - Quarterhorse
Painted Vanner - Gypsy Vanner

Runner Genetics

Using the letters a, b, and c a set of runner genetics as been created. These letters represent alleles. These alleles are what determine what a runner will be. This isn't a complete listing of all possible alleles, but the ones covering color. Much time as been spent in researching this and some things, for the fun of the game, have simply been removed. What has been removed are the lethal factors. So here on the game you can have a homozygous Frame or Roan and still have a healthy foal.

Also body type has not been added so as to keep down on the Database, instead it's being represented as a number under the property of conformation. A runner with poor conformation will look noticably worse then one with excellant conformation.

Statistics are:
Speed - Determines how fast a runner can go.
Endurance - Determines how long a runner can keep working, be it racing, draft or even show. Intelligence - Determines how smart a runner is.
Dexterity - Determines how nimble a runner is.
Conformation - Determines how well a runner is built.
Jumping - Determines how good the runner is at leaping from the ground.
Performance - Determines how much of a showman the runner can be.

Simple Glossary:
Allele - One half of a gene pair
Epistatic - The locus that masks another
Hetrozygous - Having two alleles that are differnt.
Homozygous - Having two alleles that are the same.
Hypostatic - The locus that is masked.
Locus - A specific location on a chromosome that affects a certain trait. May be two or more possible alleles for a particular locus, but a runner will posess only two.
Partial Dominant - Causes differnt things when in heterozygous or homozygous form (see Cream) Simple Dominant - Requires only one dominant allele to cause an affect.

For Runner Commands, please see 'Herder Commands'.


Canines! Otherwise known as dogs, pups, critters, hounds, ect..on Pern they are called canines about as often as they are called dogs.. But in most all sense they are Earth's dogs. Canines are just as Terran canines, four legged, furry creatures with tail and other features varying greatly from breed to breed. Known for their sense of smell, sight, and hearing, canines were easily adapted to the needs of the Pernese people. The most often reason for owning canines on pern is more often to be work creatures more than pure companions. Canine jobs vary from guide dogs, hunters, nanny dogs, guards, retrivers, and even pest control. Breeds on Pern are majorly terriers, working class, and of course the usual mutts and mixed breeds. Toy breeds or lap dogs aren't common because of the few people with free time to care for non-working canines. Also, tunnel snakes would be likely to prey upon the smaller toy breeds.

Below are some of the canine breed Pern equivalents of the more popular breeds. Cattle Dog = Istan Herder
Basset Hound = Long-eared
Gaming Canine Beagle = Howler of Nabol
Bloodhound = Tracker
Border Collie = Wandering Herder
Sheepdog = Herder's Canine
Belgium Shepherd = Black Longhair
Golden Retriver = Nabol Sporter
Cocker Spaniel = Igen's Guard
Dalmation = Southern Paint
Bulldog = Guard of Crom
GreyHound = Southern Racer
German Shepherd Dog = Istan Herder


Felines on Pern are descended from the common terran house cat. Felis catus, directly decended from the African wild cat (felis silvestris libyca), the Forest wild cat (felis silvestris), and the Asiatic desert cat (felis silvestris ornata). It is from the African wild cat and possibly the Asiatic desert cat that most of our domestic felines are decended from. After the colonists arrived from Earth, the main reason that they created felines was as pest control. Giving the felines the large ears, slender figures, and sensitive noses for picking up the scent of tunnel snakes and other pests. The basic way we work things, for Pernese breeds is that the northern regions of Pern (Ruatha, High Reaches, ect.) the felines are probably larger and furry. Think Main Coon Cat crossed with Norwegian Forest Cat. While in the Southern Regions, (Ista, Igen, Southern, ect.) They would be short haired. Most likely a common tabby.


Burdenbeasts are exceptionally strong for their size, willing and calm as well as agile. The majority of them make great guard animals for livestock in situations where they are attack by wherries or even wild canines. They are also used as pack animals, light draft, for producing fibers for rugs, ropes etc. as well as companions.Burdenbeasts are not ruminants as caprines are, but they do ruminate. There are some differences between them and true ruminants. They have 3 instead of 4 stomachs for instance. But in terms of feeding they should be and treated as ruminants rather then as non-ruminants (runners).

For example oats should not be fed to them as the 'awns' on oats can cause them to get caught in one of the stomachs and cause ulcers. They are better at feed conversion as well, meaning that it takes less to feed them then say an ovine. They can survive on what would be considered near to a desert for an ovine. They have two toed feet, with a toe nail sticking out of the end of each toe. They walk however, on a leathery pad which gives them excellent traction. In addition this allows them to 'cruise' delicate areas with little or no damage to it. Though they have a reputation for spitting, it has been shown that this behavior is used for interaction with each other, and not to gross us out. In fact if they are appropriately raised they never spit out in anger at people. Just make sure you not in the wrong place when a ' food fight' breaks out between them…

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