Size: Stands 25 feet tall and weighs about 10,000 pounds.
Character: This is the largest member of the family. The common name is derived from the baby-rattle like sound they make when they purr. This is among the most active hunter of the Deinognathus species, in spite of their huge bulk. They live in permanent, small herds, usually of about 5 members, making them also the most social of the Deinognathus species. Hours of activity are almost always during the day, except the individuals who live in the high desert. These animals do not drink water, they usually can get the water they need from their prey, or they can break open cacti and get the amount of water they need that way. This is the only time this species will eat plants, and they are undeterred by the sharp spines. Mostly they are carnivorous, feeding on deer, antelope, therapeds, large pseudomyids, and even taking smaller prey items when necessary, like coatis and small mongooses and lemurs. They use teamwork when hunting large prey. The forelegs and claws are used to grasp the prey, while the teeth are used to crush the bones of the prey. Small prey is swallowed whole. Large prey can be gulped down 50 pounds at a time. Cows gestate for a year and one or two fawns may be born, rarely do they have more than two fawns. The cow provides them with food, shelter, protection from the heat, cold and predators. Predators are few, basically only bachelor males of the species, but occasionally a tiny fawn might be taken by a large, predatory pteropod. Young stay with the mother until they are 2 years old, and then she is ready to breed again.
2. Deinognathus simularis
Range: Argentina to Uruguay.
Habitat: Desert and grassland.
Size: Stands about 18 feet tall and weighs about 9000 pounds.
Character: Appearance-wise, this species resembles D. robustus, but it is considerably smaller and slightly less social. They live in permanent groups, just like D. robustus, that numbers up to about 3 individuals. These groups are usually made up of a fawn and itís parents. Females of this species usually only have one fawn. The species is usually only active during the day, even in the high desert. They never drink, like D. robustus, they get all the moisture they need from the prey they kill. They have the ability to extract moisture from animal fats. The prey mainly consists of deer, antelope, large therapeds and pseudomyids. The fur is thick to insulate them from the heat and also keeps them warm during the extreme cold desert nights. They are equipped with their own built-in sun visors. They also have thick eyelashes that keep out the blowing sand. Bulls and cows mate for life, gestation lasts a year, and estrous only occurs once every five years. A single fawn is born every time, and stays with the parents for the full 2 year period. Both parents aid in taking care of the fawn, hunting for it, teaching it to hunt for itís self and guarding it from predators.
3. Deinognathus ingens (laughing feresa)
Range: Central America.
Habitat: Brush land.
Size: Stands as tall as 20 feet, weighs about 9500 pounds.
Character: Predatory, feeds on any large prey, but seems to prefer antelope and deer. The common name is derived from the chuckling call that marks this species. They live in small herds, usually no more than 3 individuals, usually a mother, father and baby-type relationship. They are diurnal animals, even though theyíll sometimes hunt before dusk. The sense of smell is poor, but eyesight and hearing are superb. They are not long-distance runners and usually will lie in wait for their prey to stumble close to them and run out in a surprise attack, grabbing the prey by the neck or back and either killing it or paralyzing it by crushing the vertebrae. The forelimbs are useful for grabbing the prey, and holding it still. Gestation lasts a year, and they usually only have one fawn. Like all deinognathids, D. ingens is a very loving and attentive parent, feeding and viciously defending the baby against all comers. They will even kill for their baby. If times are very rough, a mother will even kill her mate to provide the offspring with food.
4. Deinognathus minutus (lesser feresa)
Habitat: Dense jungle.
Size: Stands about 3 feet tall; weighs approximately 75 pounds.
Character: Predatory, feeds on any smaller prey it can capture, up to the size of a small deer. This is the smallest Deinognathus species and is also the least social and most secretive. They are solitary animals, except during the breeding season, when a buck may gather several does together to mate with. Once mating is over however, each individual reverts back to a solitary existence. The hours of activity for D. minutus are usually just before dusk, when they can be seen hunting. Like other Deinognathus species, D. minutus are not fast runners, and cannot run for very long periods at a time. Being solitary animals, they cannot even rely on teamwork to bring down prey. They use the surprise method, by lying in wait behind a tree or a bush and when a deer or antelope wanders within range, they will spring out, and kill it the same way D. ingens kills itís prey. Gestation lasts a year and the expecting mother will usually dig out a cave or a tree hollow to give birth. Usually only a single fawn is born and the mother guards it viciously. She will even attack animals 10 times her size if they stray too close to her nursery.
5. Deinognathus melas (fishing feresa)
Range: Northern Amazonia.
Habitat: Riverside jungles.
Size: Stands about 15 feet tall, and weighs about 7000 pounds.
Character: This animal differs from other Deinognathus species by the tough, and naked pads on the forepaws. All other Deinognathus species have soft, furry forepaws. The naked pads enable this animal to capture and grasp fish easily. A very secretive animal. This species is never found far from water. It feeds mainly on any large creatures found in the rivers of itís range. Fish are the favored prey, and the particular favorite is a species of Leptostomatus catfish that grows to be 10 feet long. Other prey items include river seals, anacondas and even river juriffars (Aquaicticus). They hunt their prey simply by looking into the water, sometimes they will either sit on the bank and wait, or wade up to their hips and dart their head into the water when their prey comes within range. They kill their prey the same way other Deinognathus do, by crushing it. They can even break through the tough armor of the Leptostomatus and are unyielding by the sharp spines in the dorsal fin, which can usually deliver a very nasty sting. This species is solitary; they have no need for teamwork and no need for the protection that comes in a group, as it is the largest predator ever to inhabit the Amazon. The cows give birth usually to a single fawn, which they raise in a cave, or thicket.