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During the Commonwealth Saga, the Hancher species is unknown to the Commonwealth, and is only discovered in the year 2958 when humans are explorng the galaxy. The Hancher homeworld is 8640 light years from earth. The body is about three and a half yards long, coming up to a human’s chest and shaped similar to a squashed egg. The hide is a dark caramel bristly fur and looks like it is two sizes too big – the whole body looks like it is covered in wrinkles and creases. Black fronds grow out of these creases like seaweed but look leathery and dead in the icy conditions of the Ice Citadel world. These fronds later recover into their multicoloured feather state after leaving the ice planet. Its mouth is a small lip-sphincter that forms a snout on the conical end of the body with extremely sharp teeth arranged in a circular array. The organs it uses to both see and communicate with are located a yard or so back from the mouth. It is a curved pyramid made up from three oval sections of translucent black flesh, with the one in front twice as long as the other two so it could follow the body profile. It communicates by creating images in the ultra-violet spectrum on the forward eye. Two fat ridges of rubbery flesh ran along its underbelly and rippled like snakes to push the body along. A second pair of more bulbous ridges extended from its back, shorter than those on the underbelly and extending only a little further than the eye. These can change into various shapes and can help to lift objects too heavy for human arms.

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