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Prolemuris noctis - night squirrel
1 meter in height
|Behind the Scenes|
The prolemuris can reach up to one meter in height. It has large eyes with binocular vision, an apelike skull with a short snout, small nostrils and jaw, and needle-sharp teeth that are adapted to cut through tough Pandoran flora. The prolemuris's ears are erect flaps that can move independently of one another in order to track sounds precisely.
The prolemuris has several peculiarities that seem to indicate that it is a sort of evolutionary "missing link" between the Na'vi and other Pandoran animals.
- Na'vi have four limbs and use two legs for locomotion (bipedal tetrapod), while most medium-to-large-bodied Pandoran animals have a total of six limbs (or wings) for locomotion (hexapod).
- Na'vi have only a single pair of eyes while almost all other medium-to-large bodied Pandoran animals have two pairs of eyes; one primary set and another slightly smaller set.
- Most medium-to-large bodied Pandoran animals have two nerve clusters (antennae) extending backward from the head, while the Na'vi only have a single nerve cluster located in their queue.
- Most medium-to-large bodied Pandoran animals possess twin operculi near the shoulder/breast bone which supplies air directly into their lungs for both respiration as well as internal body temperature regulation, while the Na'vi possess no such structures.
Unlike other Pandoran animals, however, the prolemuris has only a single neural queue, no secondary set of eyes, and no operculi in their chests. Most intriguingly, while they do have two pairs of arms - making for six limbs, along with their legs - the upper arms are partially fused together. From the shoulder to the elbow, corresponding to the human humerus, the prolemeris has only one large arm, but at the elbow it bifurcates into two separate forearms. The reason for this may be due to the added strength it gives for climbing, and also gliding. This apparently represents a transitional evolutionary step between the other six-limbed large animals of Pandora and the four-limbed Na'vi. Its toes are webbed and have a vestigial thumb that helps the animal cling to branches.
The prolemuris has lateral membranes that grow out of its sides and between its lower arm and thigh. When it leaps from tree to tree, the wind catches in these membrane flaps and slows the animal's rate of fall. This allows the animal to fall for more than twelve meters without risk or injury. The prolemuris have hollow bones, and the density of their musculature and flesh is also porous, which makes them much lighter than they appear. Even the largest prolemuris weigh less than six kilograms.
They dwell in the trees in large tribal groups, and although there are some violent intertribal contests to establish hierarchy, there is little battle between tribes. They are highly social, although they do not care for their young as avidly or carefully as Terran chimpanzees. Still, the prolemuris is a diligent and effective breeder, with the female coming into mating season three times a year.
Their mating habits are similar to some species of Terran apes, including the now-extinct gorilla, Hamadryas baboon and the howler monkey (along with several human cultures as well). An alpha male prolemuris will mate with several females concurrently and assist with the child rearing for each offspring. But this polygynous arrangement is by no means an indication of male dominance. Indeed, it is believed that prolemuris social structure is largely matriarchal, with the female clearly in charge of the mate selection process.
The prolemuris can use its four arms to move through the trees faster than an average human can run. It has near-perfect balance, and its superb depth perception allows it to leap from branch to branch while selecting just the right handhold out of the forest mosaic. In this, it resembles the Na'vi who can also move through the rain forest canopy with tremendous agility.
The Prolemuris can be trained to perform simple tricks, but has a very short attention span. It is easily distracted if it senses danger.
In the DS game, Nok had a prolemuris helper given to him by Eywa. The Prolemuris could access spaces too small for Nok to reach, such as the inside of the Digger. The lore ability Prolemuris' Resolve causes them to be less distracted when injured.