Entity 64

Jerboas

rating: +10+x

Entity Classification

Aggressiveness 0/5 All instances of Jerboas are passive and will not attack any entity. This includes hostiles.
Rarity 4/5 Jerboas are only found in desert or forest settings.
Intelligence 5/5 Jerboas are highly intelligent and have the ability to detect anomalous entities or objects.
Pritoria Index 3/5 As a counter-stat to their high intelligence and rarity, Jerboas are unable to attack any entity and will always choose flight over fight.

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fig 1.0 Photograph of a wild Jerboa found on Level 15, courtesy of an anonymous archivist.

Description

With their ability to detect anomalies—and their additional cuteness—Jerboas are an essential pet for the average wanderer. Jerboas are small, mouse-like entities with long, fluffy tails and skinny legs. Their ears can range from being minutely small to bigger than their own head. They often stand at only 6-10 inches in height and weigh upwards of 1.5 pounds. Their size makes them rather portable and easy to carry, but unfortunately, they only live for 2-4 years on average.

In terms of travel, Jerboas hop using their knee-inverted legs. Their leg structure helps them put more power into their hops. As recorded, a Jerboa can hop almost 20mph at its fastest. This is crucial for evading hostile entities, as Jerboas are often seen as easy prey. Jerboas are very intelligent and are capable of sensing highly anomalous or dangerous entities, which makes them the perfect pet when traveling through a level with a high entity count.

Behavior

Domestication of Jerboas is required for them to detect anomalies for you. Thankfully, this is no difficult task. The diet of Jerboas consists of berries and almonds. They can be tamed by being fed with such crops (see Domestication Guide).

Jerboas are passive and will not attack any entity, regardless of the threat it may pose. They will always flee from hostile entities and are quick to frighten. Should they be frightened, or detect an anomaly, the entity will chirp at a certain pitch and rate. The higher the chirp pitch, the more chaotic the anomaly is.

Wild Jerboas confide in warm and moderate weather. They are very common in deserts, plains, and forests and will dig small dens for shelter. Jerboas are not nomadic and will remain in one habitat if wild. Domesticated Jerboas will be comfortable with traveling if you allow them to establish their territory in a coat pocket or on your shoulder.

Biology

Through extensive surgical research, it has been discovered that the brain of a Jerboa is very unique and plays an important role in the detection of anomalies. Special receptor cells in the brain’s membrane are assumed to relay waves to a wanderer’s brain. These waves help the Jerboas understand the wanderer’s perception of “anomalous objects/entities”. Despite such in-depth analysis, archivists still cannot find out what gives Jerboas the ability to scan for and detect anomalies.

The legs of Jerboas are what give them their stunning speed. In spite of their size, Jerboas can run upwards of 20mph. Their “knees” look to be reversed, but they are biologically considered ankles. This leg structure allows the entities to propel themselves forward at alarming speeds. Unfortunately, the thinness of their legs does not allow for high falls, so don’t let your Jerboa fall off your shoulder.

On the topic of reproduction, the tails of male Jerboas are made for reproduction. On the fluffed fur of the tail, there are little specks of “pollen”. A domesticated pair of Jerboas was examined mating, and it was discovered that the males whip the females with their tails. The females absorb the pollen into the skin which lies beneath their light fur, and the pollen works its magic—fertilizing the egg within the female entity.

Discovery

The first documented discovery of a Jerboa took place on Level 10 in an almond crop field. This is presumably where Jerboas are most common, as they can feast on the almonds for nutrition. As the story goes, an archivist picked up a Jerboa which he had found eating an almond. The Jerboa was obviously startled and wiggled free of the archivist’s grasp, sprinting away.

Intrigued, the archivist chased after the small entity, unable to keep up with it despite running at full speed. Eventually, the archivist managed to tempt the Jerboa with a small handful of almonds, and with a stroke of luck, tamed the entity. Word was spread of the little critters, and more of them were discovered on Level 15–and other levels of similar climate—hiding in small dens.

Due to their relatively easy ability to tame, Jerboas became easy to study by archivists. Their anomaly-detecting ability became something of note, and soon enough Wanderers began to see Jerboas as an essential pet for nomadism.


Domestication Guide

Having a pet Jerboa will become a critical factor when you begin to delve into higher and more dangerous levels of the site. So, just how do you tame one? Follow these tips and you’ll have yourself a fine critter companion in no time.

  • Get low to the ground. Make yourself look small so as not to frighten the Jerboa.
  • Have almonds/berries readily available. Food is the key aspect of taming. The Jerboa won't trust you unless it has something to gain from a partnership with you.
  • Set up the picnic. Place one almond/berry a couple of feet away from the Jerboa to grab its attention. From here, place more food in one hand and allow the Jerboa to climb into it.
  • Give it a home. Your new friend won't be comfortable unless they have somewhere to take refuge. This could be in a coat pocket, the pocket of a backpack, or even just on your shoulder.
  • Treat it like your child. Luckily for you, you won't have to pay anything to maintain your pet Jerboa. However, if you neglect it or refuse to feed it, it will run away.
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