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UNSC WARNING: This document, Tove, is property of the UNSC and is Classified [NOVEMBER BLACK], protected under Office of Naval Intelligence Security Protocol 1A. Disclosure of its contents to, or access or alteration by, personnel with a clearance level lower than GAMMA THREE is an offense punishable by court(s) martial and imprisonment or execution for treasonous acts. Failure to disclose confirmed or suspected breaches of security will be treated as complicity, and is punishable by dishonourable discharge and/or imprisonment.
Lieutenant Commander Michael Pomare, Office of Naval Intelligence, UNSCDF Navy
ONI Seal 1


Placerias1DB
Tove (Arctoceratops carolii)
Biological information
Homeworld

Balaho

Physical description
Height

Two meters

Skin color

grey/white fur

Military and Political information
Ranks
  • "Outer" sub-species (Arctoceratops carolii maximus).
  • "Inner" sub-species (Arctoceratops carolii minor).
  • Various domesticated breeds, descended from "Inner" stock.
Other Names

"Slithy" Toves

  [Source]


The Tove (Arctoceratops carolii) is a creature native to Balaho, often domesticated by the native Unggoy of the planet. A staple in the diet of the Snark, it also has a number of uses among their Unggoy owners, ranging from beast of burden, to their tusks serving as aphrodisiacs.

Vaguely reptilian in appearance, the Tove is small, only about two meters in height and six meters in length, though at least one meter is comprised of its spiral-shaped horn. denizens of the frozen tundra of Balaho's surface, they use their long irregular tusks to root around in the snow, digging up the meagre plant life, and uncovering moss and algae-covered stones. The Toves play an important part in the planet's eco-system - without them, the snowfalls would disappear slower, and the world would cool down much faster, turning the planet into a frozen rock. As such, even the Unggoy who domesticate Toves and hunt wild herds maintain an extremely strict quota that barely even dents their numbers.

Though reptilian, their bodies are covered in a type of proto-fur that insulates their bodies from the cold. Though not endothermic like the Snark, they are able to absorb enough heat from the numerous volcanic geysers dotted across the planet. Not gregarious by nature, Toves are forced into large numbers in close proximity by their need for warmth. Weaker individuals are relegated to the outer edges of these regions, while the strongest are able to maintain territories closer to the heat. This arrangement has resulted in an unusual case of divergent evolution, with two sub-species coexisting together in subtly different niches - "Outer" Toves are smaller, but lose less body heat bny possessing a smaller surface area and more "fur", are faster, and are better adapted to surviving the freezing cold. "Inner" Toves are larger and more powerful, but have much thinner and shorter "fur" coats, are slower, and have shorted tusks, adaptations to a life of relative ease and plenty. Scientific studies have shown, however, that these populations will not always remain for long - during the next volcanic eruptions, the "Inner" species is projected to be rendered extinct, or extremely endangered, and out competed by the better-adapted "Outer" Toves.

Prior to the catastrophic climate change event that plunged Balaho into a permanent Ice Age, Toves seem to have led vastly different lives. Rather than living in large numbers, they seem to have been fewer, usually solitary, using their tusks to break open insect mounds or hives, much as Terran Anteaters use their claws. Sadly, these insects were also rendered extinct, along with 90% of Bahalo's native fauna, 100,000 years ago, forcing the Toves to undergo a massive ecological shift from predatory insectivore to opportunistic herbivore.

The Toves have a long history with the Unggoy. First domesticated 700 years ago, Unggoy have used Toves for a variety of purposes. Some are bred as pack animals, carrying loads Unggoy find too burdensome. Others are bred for riding, and during the first struggles for independence, Unggoy ride into battle riding fearsome-looking "Battle Toves", capable of impaling a Kig-Yar warrior. Still others are bred for their meat, or for racing as entertainment. This domestication has led to a stunning variety of Snark breeds, and feral populations have even been established on other Covenant colonies, where they have been able to return to their old niches, or adapt to new ones.

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