Ghost Bear (species)
|(Ursus Lamina Strana Mechtis)|
|Average mass||1,000 kg|
|Average length||400 cm|
|Average height||230 cm|
The Ghost Bear (Ursus Lamina Strana Mechtis), namesake of Clan Ghost Bear, is an ursine species native to the world of Strana Mechty. The name was inspired by a combination of the bear's white coat and its ability to seemingly strike out of nowhere.
Although vaguely similar in appearance to the Terran polar bear, the Ghost Bear is significantly larger, with a shoulder height of 230 centimeters and a length of four meters. Standing on their hind legs, some specimens exceed five meters in height. Unlike the polar bear, the Ghost Bear's fur is pure white and even its eyes and nose are of a near-white gray, camouflaging it in the icy deserts of its home environment. An average Ghost Bear weighs around one ton.
Abilities and Lifestyle
Since they are too large to hunt over longer distances, Ghost Bears hide near their quarry's territory. They dig themselves in the snow and lie in wait, often for days at a time. During this time, their body goes into some sort of semi-hibernation while the senses, especially the extremely acute sense of smell, remain sharp. (They are noted for poor vision, though.) From this concealed position, the Ghost Bear then ambushes its prey.
Unlike most animals, Ghost Bears have very close bonds with their family. They mate for life and maintain a tenuous connection to their offspring.
Clan totem animal
According to Clan legends, the married couple Sandra Tseng and Hans Jorgensson exiled themselves to the icy wastes of Strana Mechty's southern continent to die together, rather than be separated when Nicholas Kerensky created the Clans. Ill-equipped for the arctic climate and short on supplies, they sought shelter in a cave that turned out to be a Ghost Bear's den. The massive predators surprisingly "adopted" the humans into their family, warming them and providing them with food and shelter for a time. They later found out that it was not one single bear, but an entire pack of them, debunking the presumption that ghost bears were solitary. Deeply impressed, Tseng and Jorgensson returned to Kerensky's forces where they were allowed to stay together and become the founders of Clan Ghost Bear.
After the Clan moved their entire population to the Inner Sphere, they carried with them preserved embryos of their beloved namesakes. When suitable habitats were found on several words on the Dominion, cubs were brought from iron wombs created for the task, and breeding pairs released in likely hunting grounds. Some worlds were not suitable for the bears, but on others, they thrived, pushing on native predators.