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BANTHAS
from The Star Wars Sourcebook

Banthas are large, quadrupedal, oxygen-breathing, carbon-based herbivores adapted to plains environments. Adults stand two to three meters at the shoulder, the male being slightly larger than the female. Paired spiral horns grow from the skulls of males.

Banthas are extremely adaptable animals, surviving comfortably in climates ranging from deserts to tundra, and have been known to go weeks without either food or water.

The Bantha's planet of origin is unknown. They have existed since prehistoric times on at least a dozen planets in the galaxy. On the planets where Bantha thrive, they have established a niche in the planetary ecology. Because Banthas have existed on so many different worls for so long, a certain amount of genetic drift is to be expected - and, indeed, it has occurred. Bantha subspecies vary considerably in size, coloration, social grouping, behavior, and metabolic specifics.

Wild Bantha herds thunder across many worlds. Bantha herders raise the docile beasts for food and clothing. In many systems, travelers can find restaurants that serve Bantha steaks, and Bantha-skin boots and cloaks are popular accessories among the upper class.

Because of their great size, strength, and adaptability to harsh climates, Banthas make excellent beasts of burden. This use is best demonstrated on Tatooine. There, the elusive and dangerous Sand People have employed Banthas as pack and riding animals for many hundreds of years.

The Bantha has few natural enemies. On Tatooine, for example, only one beast will actually hunt a healthy Bantha for food - the dreaded Krayt Dragon, which is itself larger than all but the biggest Banthas. While Krayt Dragons have been known to eat a variety of creatures, Banthas (along with Womp Rats) are their favorite source of food. The domesticated Bantha is perhaps the most coveted and well-guarded possession on the desert planet. Special care is taken by both the Sand People and moisture farmers to protect these animals from dragons and other hazards.

The relationship between Banthas and the Tatooine Sand People is an interesting one. In no other known system have the Bantha and an intelligent species banded together as these two have. Sand People seem to have a special bond with the Bantha; anthropologists speculate that Banthas are deemed equal memebers of the Sand People tribes.

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Disclaimer: Star Wars and all related characters, trademarks, and graphics are all property of Lucasfilm Ltd. The above entry is from The Star Wars Sourcebook by West End Games, Inc.