Life restoration of Potamotherium miocenicum. 8 May 2009(2009-05-08) Smokeybjb
Potamotherium ('river beast') is an extinct genus of mustelids or early pinniped that existed during the Miocene period.
The genus was first described in 1833. In 1988 it was assigned to the family Mustelidae and the subfamily Oligobuninae. One species has been identified in the genus: P. miocenicum.
Finds range from the mid-latitudes of Europe and North America, dated from Oligocene/Miocene boundary and surviving through to the end of the Miocene. It has been interpreted as a basal, non-marine ancestor of seals and sea lions, suggesting a freshwater phase in the evolutionary transition of pinnipeds from land to sea. The relatives of Potamotherium was possibly early bears (whose ancestors at the time where small and generally weasel-like).
Physically, Potamotherium resembled a modern otter, and was 1.5 metres (5 ft) long, with an elongated, slender body and short legs. With a flexible backbone and a streamlined shape, it was probably a good swimmer. Analysis of fossils suggests that Potamotherium had a poor sense of smell, but made up for this with good vision and hearing.
Originally Posted by
xidoraven of the Wizards Community forums.
|Hit Dice||3d8+6 (22 hp)|
|Speed||25 ft. (5 squares), swim 35 ft. (7 squares)|
|Armor Class||15 (+3 Dex, +2 natural), touch 13, flat-footed 12|
|Attack||Bite +5 melee (1d6-1)|
|Full Attack||Bite +5 melee (1d6-1)|
|Space/Reach||5 ft./5 ft.|
|Special Qualities||Hold breath, low-light vision|
|Saves||Fort +7, Ref +6, Will +5|
|Abilities||Str 8, Dex 17, Con 14, Int 2, Wis 14, Cha 7|
|Skills||Balance +9, Climb (Dex) +8, Escape Artist +7, Listen +6, Spot +6, Swim (Dex) +11|
|Feats||Weapon Finesse (Bite), Great Fortitude, Alertness (B), Agile (B)|
|Environment||Temperate Aquatic (freshwater rivers & lakeshores)|
|Organization||Solitary, pair, or family (3–12)|
|Advancement||4-6 HD (Medium), 7-10 (Large)|
Potamotherii inhabit coastal regions of rivers and lakes throughout temperate lands, preying on small fish and insects. They sometimes become familiars to aquatic sorcerers or wizards, or animal companions to similar druids or rangers.
Potamotherium is an inquisitive animal. They fight only if cornered, and generally avoid contact with terrestrial civilizations in most cases.
Hold Breath (Ex): Potamotherium can hold its breath for a number of rounds equal to 4 × its Constitution score before it risks drowning. For a typical specimen, this is 48 rounds, or almost 5 minutes.
Skills: A potamotherium has a +8 racial bonus on any Swim check to perform a special action or avoid a hazard. It can always choose to take 10 on a Swim check, even if distracted or endangered. It can use the run action while swimming, provided it swims in a straight line.
Racial Bonus Feats: Agile , Alertness. Potamotherium is a naturally agile and thriving species, but does have the best sense of scent that smaller otters have (no extraordinary Scent ability) - however potamotherium has excellent sight and hearing.
Potamotherium as a Familiar: 3rd-level Spellcasters with the Improved Familiar can summon Potamotherium; it grants its master a +3 bonus to Swim checks.
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