Taxonomic Class: Reptile (disputed).
Location: Ebullus Chelonis. Believed to have migrated to Ebullus Earth in ancient times (Far East Asian Region) based on indigenous folklore, although there is no extant fossil evidence.
Habitat: Near rivers and larger streams, generally in forested areas, in temperate zones.
Size: 200 to 1400 kilograms.
Diet: Primarily fish and plant life, although wild crugers have been observed to eat anything from small bears to bicycles. A captive cruger once went four months without any food to no noticeable ill effect.
Crugers have been wary of humans and have been seldom studied. Their level of intelligence is hotly debated, but it is well established that they have a strict sense of manners or etiquette. They have been known to sacrifice themselves to help polite strangers or to wreak considerable havoc because of apparent slights. The cruger’s chief vulnerability is the “hairy” cap on their head, which must be kept moist for their nervous system to function properly.
SPOILER ALERT FROM BOOK TWO OF THE CORDELIAN CHRONICLES:
Slowly the cruger emerged. While submerged she reminded Kelly most of a turtle, with her large circular shell, covered with scales. She even had a turtle-like beak. But as Sally surfaced, she closed the sides of her shell, almost like folding up wings. She had four legs or maybe two legs and two arms, like a great ape. Her head was simian too, almost human even, despite the beak. Kelly learned later that they appeared in Japan in ancient times and that kappa meant “river child.” And Sally did look like a gigantic child, her head proportionately bigger than her body. The oddest feature might have been the hair on the top of her skull, which looked like thick marsh grass growing out of spongy soil.