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|Subspecies/Races||Dwarf Bantha, Dune Bantha|
|Behind the Scenes|
|Universe||Star Wars Universe|
Bantha are large, shaggy, and highly adaptable herbivores found on many planets, most notably Tatooine. They can go many weeks without food, and can survive in many extremes of climate and environment, making them prized agricultural commodities.
Physical Characteristics Edit
All bantha subspecies share common characteristics, including two curving horns, fur, and prehensile tongues. Bantha are large, a common specimen being anywhere from 2 to 3 meters tall, and weighing up to 4,000 kilograms. They are also extremely long lived, typically 80 to 100 years old at time of death.
Prehentsile Tongue Edit
An interesting anatomical feature of the bantha is its long, flexible tongue. It is highly sensitive, structurally complex, dextrous and extremely strong. It also has olfactory glands. Among other things, the tongue can be used for holding objects and inter-bantha communications.
Social Behavior Edit
Banthas are highly intelligent and social creatures that travel in herds of up to 25 individuals. Every herd is led by a matriarch, the oldest and strongest female. If the matriarch becomes too old, she will usually relinquish control of the herd to the next oldest. If the herd becomes too large, it will split; the new herd will be led by the second oldest female.
Banthas also have a curious fascination with the bones of their ancestors, often gathering them into areas known as "graveyards" and fondling them. Mothers who have lost a calf have been known to carry the body many kilometers to such places.
Known Subspecies Edit
Aside from the common bantha, two other varieties have been identified: the dwarf bantha and the dune bantha.
Dwarf Bantha Edit
The dwarf bantha is much smaller, more skittish and shy; sure-footed, it lives in the canyons and cliffs of the remote, outer desert.
Dune Bantha Edit
The dune bantha is rangier, more slender and less furry; it lives in the equatorial zone and can survive very high temperatures and the relative unavailability of water.
Behind the scenes Edit
- The name of the bantha may have come from the banth, a similar large mammal from Edgar Rice Burrough's Barsoom novels.
- In the original version of A New Hope, the bantha was played by a trained elephant, named Mardji, in a fur costume. In some cases, Mardji's trunk can be barely visible beneath the bantha costume.
- A New Hope (First Appearance)
- The Wildlife of Star Wars: A Field Guide, by Terryl Whitlatch and Bob Carrau