Sand crocodiles, or hatori (sing & pl) in Old Alzhedo, were terrifying, armored reptiles found in the Calim Desert in the time of the Calim Empire. With their camouflaged scales, they buried themselves under the sands, only to erupt violently and grab their prey with their teeth. Then they would disappear under the sand again, dragging their catch with them.
These enormous creatures were called crocodiles of the sand, but their bodies more closely resembled lizards'. Their legs had the form of flippers which allowed them to easily move through sands in swimming motions, while they had to travel over solid ground gracelessly flopping forward. Their eyes are within deep-set cavities in their skull.
Their resilient knobby scales had various colors of sand and stone, from red-brown to grayish-white. Together with their long thing tails, lesser hatori were 10 ft (3 m) to 50 ft (15 m) in length, while specimen of up to 200 ft (61 m) long were found in the greater variety. Hatori grew slowly and continously throughout their long lives.
These reptiles only mate once every ten years, after intense battles fought between the males deep in the desert. The parents went their separate ways afterwards, but the females care for their offspring until it reaches about 50 years of age.
To hunt for food hatori hid themselves below the sand and between the rocks of their habitat to surprise their prey. Their coloration made this camouflage very effective. They attacked with their powerful tail and bit with their enormous jaws, often swallowing victims whole.
Hatori stood at the top of the food chain in their habitat, except possibly dragons living in the same area, or sometimes other hatori. Their habit of swallowing everything edible also meant that they sometimes had valuables resistant to digestion inside their intestines.
Greater and Lesser Hatori
Crocodiles of the sands were sometimes distinguished into lesser and greater hatori, depending on their size, with a length of 50‒60 ft (15‒18 m) being the dividing line. These were not two different races, however, but simply younger and older specimen.
Rumors and Legends
The Hatori guild of assassins were named after these fearsome reptiles.
- Star of Cursrah (mentioned)
- Cam Banks, André LaRoche (2004). Bestiary of Krynn. Edited by Jamie Chambers. (Sovereign Press), pp. 32–33. ISBN 1-931567-13-1.
- Rick Swan et al. (1990). Monstrous Compendium Dragonlance Appendix. Edited by Mike Breault. (TSR, Inc.). ISBN 0-88038-822-6.
- Doug Stewart (June 1993). Monstrous Manual. (TSR, Inc), p. 185. ISBN 1-5607-6619-0.
- Clayton Emery (January 1999). Star of Cursrah. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 26. ISBN 0-7869-1322-3.