I decided to take a break from my Dark Hunter quest and to build an entry for a Rahi contest being held over on MOCpages. It is current in a round where the goal is to build some sort of flying creature, so I have whipped up this little creature.
Kite Tail attached:
Squirrel without Tail:
Squirrel on hind legs:
Kite by its lonesome:
Mischievous Matoran using the kite as a hang-glider:
The Kited-Tail Squirrel is a curious Rahi that tends to live in clear and windy areas. Grassy plains and stormy deserts tend to be the most common locations, but some variations with smaller kites have been found in more wooded areas. The version depicted here is the middle-child of the two, possessing the larger kite like the plains, but missing with winch much like the wooded versions.
As is quite obvious from its name, this rodent has a kite-like tail. It will often be found running around, trying to get the kite started in flight, letting lose more and more of the tail kept wound up in its winch. When the kite is finally flying stably, the squirrel will jump (aided by Levitation powers) and grab onto the kite, using it to hang-glide around to a new area or to catch prey. Aside from travel and flight, the kite is used to scare off other flying Rahi, due its size, for encroaching on it territory. Sometimes the squirrel will let the kite fly around freely until some poor small bird flies underneath it, in which it then swiftly reels in its tail, smashing the prey into the ground or previously made trap. Other times it is use for camouflage from larger predators or as makeshift shelter from bad weather.
Unfortunately for these squirrel, their own hang-glider kites are large enough that Matoran, and even some Toa, can use them effectively. This has resulted in most of them having been hunted down and their kite-tails removed. Without their kites, they are purely at the mercy of their predators. Turaga have since declared them to be an endangered species, deeming it illegal to remove their tails.