They had beaked faces and long, powerful tails that could stretch to 10 meters. The varactyl's flexible neck supported its armor-plated skull, and both male and female dragonmounts had crests and a ridge of mid-body spines displayed during courting. While females sported blue-green plumage and skin, males were mostly dull shades of orange and brown. Most important were the varactyl's five-toed feet. Not only could a varactyl run very fast, but their feet were adapted with tiny hairlike structures that allowed them to climb the rocky walls of Utapau's sinkholes. This marked the varactyl as an excellent mount for the native Utapauns.
A varactyl's vocalizations were short, loud hooting calls.
Varactyls were very intelligent creatures who long remembered previous riders. The varactyl's reaction to a rider depended on how that rider had treated it previously: it would be loyal and affectionate to a good rider, but hostile and dangerous to an abusive one.
Long ago, the stunted Utai learned to tame wild varactyl and still served as wranglers for the dragonmounts, acting as keepers of both varactyl and their flying dactillion cousins. Varactyl were known to be loyal and obedient steeds. Riding a varactyl was reportedly similar to riding the speedy suubatars of Ansion. Both creatures were fitted with high-backed saddles for their riders.
In order to track down General Grievous, Obi-Wan Kenobi used a particularly swift and loyal varactyl named Boga. In record time, Boga reached the tenth level of Pau City, and engaged General Grievous in his wheel bike in a furious chase through the city.
Commander Cody carried out Palpatine's Order 66 by ordering an AT-TE's gunner to fire upon Boga and Obi-Wan; however, the AT-TE's cannon blast hit a wall near them, and the two plunged to the grotto below.
Many years before the Galactic Civil War, someone had brought a live varactyl egg to Kashyyyk. When the egg was subsequently lost, it hatched, and soon dozens of varactyl populated a section of jungle on the Wookiee homeworld. As varactyls are not known to be able to reproduce asexually, how this happened is unknown.
A large number of varactyls once attacked the Wookiees of the Kerritamba Village. After they had finally fended off the attacks at the Great Tree, the Wookiees drove the varactyls out of the Kkowir Forest.
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