Wampas are a race of highly aggressive predators native to the ice planet Hoth. They are the planet's top predators, and are known to survive extreme temperatures.
Biology[edit | edit source]
Covered with shaggy white fur, standing at heights of up to three meters, and weighing an average of 150 kilograms, Hoth's Wampa ice creatures are lethal predatory beasts. They possess long, powerful arms, razor-sharp claws capable of carving layers out of ice, and a fanged maw. Aided by an acute sense of smell and a well-camouflaged coat of thick fur, the carnivorous wampas roam Hoth's icy plains preying on near-helpless animals. Wampas range in height from 2.2 to three meters, with an average height of 2.5 meters, and they hav eerie yellow eyes. Older Wampas possess short, jagged, curving horns, which are an indication of age. The horns begin to appear at the onset of puberty, and continue to grow larger as the Wampa ages.
Wampas are classified officially as reptomammals: creatures combining the best defensive characteristics of reptiles with the more adaptable physiologies of mammals — specifically, they are linked to primates. The Wampa physiology is well adapted to conserving heat in the extreme cold. Beneath their protective fur is a layer of blubber for greater insulation. They are also physiologically equipped with a self-regulating metabolism.
The Wampa reigns at the top of the Hoth food chain as the planet's most violent alpha predator. With their strong sense of smell, coat of thick white fur, blending in perfectly with the icy landscape of Hoth, and brute strength, Wampas make excellent natural hunters. A single powerful blow from a Wampa's forearm is enough to neutralize the largest prey, while the creature's bite is deadly. Very rarely are Wampas themselves the victims of predators — in fact, the creatures have no natural enemies except for other Wampas. Wampas typically travel on two or four legs, preferring four except when stalking or during an attack. The creatures stalk their prey until reaching close enough proximity to make a rush attack. A Wampa will take a final sighting of its target by rising on its hind legs and then springing forward in a deadly pounce with claws outstretched.
In terms of the creature's diet, Wampas subsist primarily on Hoth's many varieties of omnivorous tauntauns, although they also hunt antlered mammals called rayboo and other, smaller unwary creatures — as well as attacking anyone or anything else they encounter that might seem to be a source of food if particularly hungry. The powerful Wampa requires large amounts of food to sustain itself, and a single tauntaun is enough to nourish one Wampa for a considerable period. Wampa family groups, in particular, require a substantial supply of meat, since a female Wampa may birth up to three cubs at once. However, the competition among Wampas for Hoth's relatively small number of prey animals forms a limit to the numbers of the creatures existing on Hoth, keeping the Wampa relatively scarce.
Wampas are particularly sensitive to high-pitched noises: sounds that are similar to those made by a female in search of a mate. While Wampas are naturally well-insulated against the Hoth elements, as a result of their dense fur, they are made almost invisible to and fail to show up on most standard life-form sensor scans, which is how they managed to avoid public detection for so long.
History[edit | edit source]
The Wampa ice creatures have always been indigenous to Hoth. The first time they were ever encountered occurred when a group of hyperspace explorers crash landed on the planet after being attacked by space pirates. There, they found an abandoned Republic research facility littered with mutilated corpses. Soon, it was discovered that a herd of ravenous Wampas were responsible for the personnel's deaths, and the explorers themselves soon became prey for the creatures. Not one of them survived.
Notes[edit | edit source]
- The Wampa's vocals were recorded from a Tiger, Lion, Sea Lion, and an Elephant
- The Wampa has a similar appearance to Earth's Yeti.