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Due to some contention between myself and editorial over the last post I intend to go back to basics, of sorts, and share some notes on the humble creature we all are aware of, the Loap.
Silver Spiral Field Notes: #005 Loaps
The Loap is a widespread species in the current era of the Silver Spiral. They are bred on many worlds, due to their docile nature and value as a pack animal and a food source.
Historical records are vague, but loaps are said to have originated on a world colonized by the Grey in the distant past. These ancient Grey prized the loaps for their demeanor and the resources they could harvest from them. Although modern Grey are unable to digest meat, the humble loap is still raised as a source of food, leather, fur, and even fuel and fertilizer across the galaxy.
The loap is a rather heavy creature ranging between 2 to 4 meters in length and about 1.5 to 2 meters in height. Their elongated bodies are held up from the ground by six, thick, stubby limbs. Their paws are wide and thick with two stubby hooves over their two toes. The loap has two sets of eyes: a forward facing set with a wide field of view, and some somewhat primitive eyes along the side of their head to scan for sudden movements.The loap is born with a tail, but most loaps born in captivity have their tails bobbed to prevent them from getting stuck and injuring themselves. Loap bodies are layered with fat and fur, but their undersides are hairless; this quality of the loap is prized by leathercrafters. The undersides of Loaps are also covered with teats that allow loaps of either sex to nurse young. Adult loaps prefer to feed on grasses and lichen, while their young drink milk infused with the vegetative matter.
The presence of vegetable pulp in loap milk is due to the aging process of the adult loap. As older loaps graze and digest plant matter, their digestive systems will process far less of the material. The resulting milk is green in color and thick with chunks of vegetable pulp. This has the effect of weaning loaplings off of their parents’ milk and onto plants.
Loap milk is popular among many species due to its vegetable pulp. Loap milk containing different degrees of pulp are available in most markets. Although Grey do not consume meat, they are able to consume loap milk and it is a staple of the Grey diet.
Loap meat is the second-most common meat product in the galaxy, behind the Ocian Fatfish. Loap meat is red in color and possesses a rich taste that is complimented well by sweet-tasting spices. Consuming raw loap meat is not advised as it is not uncommon for loaps to pick up internal parasites as they graze. If one must eat raw loap, a common practice in blassnaught culture, it is advised to do so under professional culinary supervision. The prime cuts of loap meat may be found on their hairless underside, as their mammary glands consist of a great deal of fatty tissues. The tough meat in their feet and legs is often minced for filler.
Loaps are not often raised as pets or mounts. While loaps have the temperament for these roles, they are seen as too large or too slow to fulfill these roles. Male loaps can become quite aggressive in the presence of females in heat. Due to this behavior, many feisty male loaps are used in rodeos on rural worlds. The large, flat teeth of loaps are important in some tribal rituals and are not uncommon as trinkets and jewelry.