Pepekewaro are a most unusual breed of Mata Nui wildlife.
Almost uniquely amongst the fauna of Ta-Wahi,
these large creatures thrive in the volcanic region’s lava streams,
swimming through the red-hot flow as if it were water.
On land, a Pepekewaro’s body emits great hissing geysers of steam as it slowly cools.
Accustomed to the hottest temperatures on the island, Pepekewaro can survive in
the open air for some hours, but they must inevitably return to the lava to replenish
themselves. They are rarely found more than half a kio from the volcanic flows.
Although their powerful legs are used primarily for swimming,
Pepekewaro are capable of leaping great distances.
Not very graceful but quick to flee, they excel at evading capture.
A Pepekewaro’s eyes, positioned high on its head, give it a wide field of vision
and make it next to impossible to take one by surprise.
Not the brightest or most discerning of feeders,
the omnivorous Pepekewaro will eat almost anything that they can stuff
into their large mouths. Over time, they have learned to avoid Tohunga,
finding them far more prickly a meal than they at first appear to be.
Pepekewaro are especially fond of insects and will lurk beneath the lava,
only their bulging eyes visible above the surface, as they wait for a heedless
Nui-Rama or other flying animal to pass overhead. When the unknowing creature
ventures close enough, the Pepekewaro leaps straight up into the air with
a great fiery splash, snapping its long, sticky tongue at its prey.
If its aim is true, the insect will be ensnared and quickly pulled under
the lava by the weight of the plummeting hunter. Occasionally, however,
a Pepekewaro misjudges the size of its prey and finds itself hoisted aloft
by an angry Nui-Kopen or another giant of the skies. Unfortunately for both,
a Pepekewaro’s sticky tongue requires the heat of the lava flows to dissolve
its powerful bonding agent, and the helpless hunter is quickly carried away.