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TAS Library Entry for the Most Popular Pet of the Imperium IMTU: The Canar


The ubiquitous, and popular Canar is a creature known throughout human society, and can be found in virtually all environments habitable by humans throughout the Imperium, as well as explored regions of the Old Empire. As such, it is ranked among the “Cradle animals,” that rare group of creatures believed to have evolved on the as-yet undiscovered birth-world of humanity. What citizen of the Imperium has not heard of the Canar’s utility as a primitive early warning system in the mines of antiquity, alerting miners to deadly gas with their strident call? Who has not heard tales of their later utility, to similar purpose, on the earliest legendary "Seed" ships, alerting the heroic founders of our species to fouling air on their rudimentary craft? That the Canar was also prized as a songbird is a source of some puzzlement today, as the Canar does not so much sing as mutter, gabble, and perhaps honk, the Canar’s EDITinternal.. tube.. thingy... mind blanking... in their sinus area appearing to be better adapted for audibility over distance than for production of song.ENDIT

Canars are mostly aquatic birds, and may be found in both fresh water and sea water. From this, its connection to mythical Canar Islands seems founded. Historically, the nature of its initial habitat is in dispute. Earliest records indicate the creatures preference to be areas such as orchards note that the Canar build their nests in “bushes or trees.” Since their body length is generally, from base of neck to base of tail, approximately 30 cm, this seems unlikely; their webbed feet, too are better adapted for use in acquatic environments rather than arboreal; EDITtheir wide, flat bills appear to be better suited to dredging than to pecking for seed. ENDIT

The role of the creature in human society, historically, is obscure, and made more so by the multiplicity of languages used by most pre-Old Empire human societies, and the intermingling of the same into the predecessors of Old Galactic. Flying, egg laying and feathered species are understood to have been widespread among human societies from the earliest days, and appear to have often been domesticated, although to what purpose is not widely agreed upon in historical sources. This species was often kept as a pet, as they are even today. Many are found on worlds and even on shipboard, throughout the Imperium. They are companionable creatures, bonding well to their owners, so it is understandable that this should have been the case in antiquity. Canar, in additional to their most common role in human society as pets, are in some few backward areas farmed for their meat, eggs, and feathers.
My only comment would be that the vast majority of birds, the song has little if anything to do with the shape of the beak, and much more to do with the the.. internal.. tube.. thingy... mind blanking.. in their sinus area. Acts as an amplifier and, depending on the species, a natural reed. I wrote a report on it b ack in college...
Ya know, I've seen mention on these forums of keeping pets in space (well, in a ship in space - you could only keep the freeze-dried ones actually in space...), but I can't remember anyone wanting to keep fish or birds.

Issues with Tweety:
1) They don't use the fresher, and acetate news flimsys make for lousy birdcage liner material.
2) Feathers in the ventilation system. This could actually kill you on a Type S!
3) When they get out, they go hide in amongst the wires under the Nav console. And, as nobody uses circuit breakers in a spaceship, they will be Canar Fricasee in short order.

Issues with Fred the Fish:
1) Water everywhere if you lose artificial G.
2) So you use a sealed tank. And the fish dies when it swims through that air bubble (you gotta have one of those bubbler thingies!) that just hangs there - because you lost the AG.
3) If you recycle the dirty water, all the water on board will taste like fish.

I'm thinking turtles (tortoises, really) would be good. Keep in a box, well-prepared for floating during 0G (pull everything inside the shell!), they'll eat lettuce you wouldn't serve your mother-in-law, etc.
Yeah, practically speaking I think you're right. It's mainly for, you know, color...

Yertle works, though!

If they weren't so downright creepy, I'd make an argument for hairless cats here. But they are, so I won't.
Originally posted by Imperium Festerium:
If they weren't so downright creepy, I'd make an argument for hairless cats here. But they are, so I won't.
You have seen corejob's thread here, haven't you? [shudder]
Oh *that's* just eeeeeeeevil.

There's an adventure seed for you. Party gets stuck with three expensive palletloads of GenPets for delivery... the secret that they don't find out until after they've bought 'em? They're the one year model.

And they're almost a year old already.

They won't find the seller, of course.

If they want to sell 'em they'll have to forge all the sell-bys, sell 'em quick, and get off-world before the little guys start dropping...