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Common Name: Acinonyx (or Giant Cheetah) Species: Acinonyx pardinensis (or for a new kind of species: celeritadaemon (Speed demon)) Time: Early Pleistocene Diet: Carnivore Temperment: Evasive and Opportunistic Wild Also known as the Giant Cheetah, this cat is what you would imagine it would be, built for speed. Set as a contender for the fastest creature on the ARK, the Acinonyx can outrun anything, even the Gallimimus! What's more is that it can turn on a dime if it needs to thanks to its cleat-like feet, evading obstacles that may otherwise hinder its direct path. Though solitary, Acinonyx will occasionally team up with another individual to hunt down prey. And once it catches up, it'll trip its prey, temporarily stunning them until they finish it off. Despite being the speed demon it is, the Acinonyx isn't the best fighter. In fact, like its modern counterpart, if another predator sees an opportunity to claim the kill, the Acinonyx will flee to avoid confrontation. And in its wake, the Acinonyx will leave a dust cloud that’ll temporarily blind others, so it gets a head start. I guess you could say it tells everyone to “eat my dust!” That doesn't mean it can't get to the kill first, especially in the desert heat. Domesticated Acinonyx are quite difficult to tame because of their evasiveness and wariness of predators. Not only that, they have incredible stamina that prevents even the best tranquilizers from slowing it down. However, I have seen Survivors use carcasses of creatures to lure them out as they lie in wait for them to feast. If other predators are clear of the area, the Acinonyx will feel more comfortable going in for a bite. Being the fastest mammal in the desert, the Acinonyx makes for a great travel companion. And with its agility, you can even evade oncoming attacks if you time it right, almost as if it has a “cat sense”. I’ve also seen some tribes pair their Acinonyx with Dire Wolves. I’ve never seen a cat more comfortable around a canine before, but it seems like the Dire Wolves benefit from the relationship with an added speed boost. What’s more incredible is that they can help you lock-on to your targets as you are mounted for easy shooting, and they can even trip your targets for an easy kill or tame, almost as if it’s a living bola. And with how fast they move, they can even stun larger creatures by slamming into them with their momentum. I’ve even seen seasoned Survivors equip their fast and furious friend with a unique Tek saddle that puts its speed to the max, allowing it to strafe and dodge in every direction imaginable, almost like it leaving an afterimage of itself. Details Being the fastest land mammal in modern day, and being found in plains, savanna and desert in the modern world, I think the Giant Cheetah would be a prime choice for Scorched Earth. Plus I think we need more cats in ARK, right? Though the Giant Cheetah was slower than modern cheetahs due to their proportional size, we can still imagine this wonderful creature as the fastest thing in the land. The Giant Cheetah can be used for scouting as well as being a fast and annoying distraction in PVP. Like cheetahs today, they could make a 90-degree turn to catch prey off guard and trip them so they can go in for the kill. I also had the fun idea that Survivors can leave behind a grenade, C4 or something (if timed right) once they hit that 90-degree turn. This may have a cooldown after turning several times. The Giant Cheetah could alternatively leave a dust cloud that can blind enemies for a quick getaway. As mentioned before, the Giant Cheetah will be built for speed, not power. You could chip away at enemies with the bomb run or quick swipes, but it would be preferred that you keep your kitty as alive as possible. They can have a slow Stamina drop, though you may need to feed them often to keep their energy up or just sit and let them charge their Stamina much faster. Though the Giant Cheetah could also create momentum and slam into a large target and stun it as well as deal a good chunk of damage. And what’s more is that it can have a “cat sense” that’ll allow it to evade enemy attacks with ease (this may have a cooldown as well). You could also pick up items as you pass over them if you enable it for easy grabbing, especially if you’ve died recently and are in dangerous territory and you need to grab your dropped gear as quickly as possible. The Giant Cheetah would be a passive tame. First you should clear the area of any threats, aggressive predators or herbivores, and then kill a creature and drag it out in the open. The bigger the better. Then throw on some Ghillie armor (and maybe Bug Repellant?) and just lie in wait until it comes closer and feasts. The more bites it can take the better. Repeat the process until you've tamed your own Giant Cheetah! And with it tamed a tamed Acinonyx could receive a pack bonus from nearby Dire Wolves, or better yet, have an imprinted bond with an individual Dire Wolf so it’ll have increased stats with them, making it crucial to breed the best Dire Wolf possible to pair with a recently tamed or bred Acinonyx. Just have a Dire Wolf in proximity with the Acinonyx and it’ll give the option to pair, or once one is born, it’ll pair with the closest Dire Wolf. And because the Acinonyx is faster and may go further than the wolves, its bond range will be larger than other pack bonuses, making it ideal for PVP situations. A tamed Giant Cheetah could also be a great taming mount, giving its rider a lock-on mechanic for easy aiming as well as the ability to trip wild or domesticated Dinos as if it were a bola. And for endgame, a Tek saddle could be given to it that’ll not only make it go faster, but give it the capability to strafe and evade with ease in every direction, even make afterimages of itself to confuse enemies. Since they'll be found on Scorched Earth, they should be out in the open desert or more open areas where there is plenty of room to run around. They'll go after any creatures that won't fight back, or at least won't hurt it as much. If it takes enough damage, it'll flee. As for design, let’s give it the "King Cheetah" look, a color variant of modern cheetah that features recessive melanistic genes! Also, the cubs look incredibly cute! They chirp like birds and are little balls of fluff! And thank you to the following people who added more amazing suggestions! pumpkin2k LittleSpicyOreos (Tek saddle concept) DrawolfKnight (art concept) PaulStewart AmanaTishala ApocalypseGal Furious33 KimaGaming Crested Gecko Sources https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acinonyx_pardinensis https://dinopedia.fandom.com/wiki/Giant_cheetah (photo) https://dwarffortresswiki.org/index.php/DF2014:Giant_cheetah (photo) Image concept curtesy of DrawolfKnight If anyone has any other thoughts, feel free to comment below! And what could be added to make it more compatible with Scorched Earth?