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The Pet Documentaries: the Acara

by leveret


Neopia is a wide world of exotic places to explore and intriguing sights to see. It is also home to an even larger variety of weird and wonderful creatures. Although the Neopedia offers far-reaching accounts of great deeds and legends that circulate in rumours and are illustrated on castle tapestries, it does not seem to have much information on the diverse pets that live in the land. I thought I’d take it upon myself, as a dedicated journalist, to investigate the individual habits of a species and bring them to the public eye. All those little facts you’ve wanted to know about your Neopet, you’ll hopefully find here.

The subject of my latest in-depth investigations is the Acara. Amongst fifty introduced species of pets, the Acara is something of a favourite, rated ninth most popular on the charts. So what is it about these odd-looking beasts that warrant such high numbers? What little is already known about Acaras tells us they often live by the seaside and enjoy competing with friends to see who can dive the deepest or haul the most sunken treasure onto the coast. Because of their natural affinity to water, Acara fur is comprised of a downy, insulating undercoat and an overcoat of long, water-repellent bristles of hair.

Before diving, Acaras are able to suck in deep breaths of air through their nose which they store in the huge capacity of their lungs. This allows them to stay beneath the surface for prolonged periods of time without feeling the need to come up for air. The average body temperature of an Acara is below room temperature, which prevents them from feeling the shock of cold water. Due to this lack of body heat, despite being warm-blooded, Acaras have a liking of the sun. While most of them live in colder regions, they will not live anywhere where sun does not shine. The Acara’s underside is a lighter shade than the fur on their back because this darker fur is similarly used to attract heat.

A characteristic feature of the Acara is their hairless feet, but contrary to common belief, not all Acaras share this trait. Those that live in dry or desert regions (only near oases, of course) can absorb heat from the scorching sands through the fleshy pads of their paws, which can warm the body or provide a limited store of energy (enough to supply a short burst of speed). Northern Acaras face the obstacle of icy ground and therefore their paws are well-covered with fur and generally less delicate. Acaras are not nocturnal, but their big eyes can see almost as well in the dark as they can in daylight.

Short, stocky legs maintain their balance perfectly, and Acaras are strong, navigational swimmers, so there is no need for a lengthy tail to steer. A small stump can be spotted above their haunches, though it rarely moves to display an Acara’s emotions or temperament. A sturdy build and energy-saving adaptations indicate the Acara is meant for endurance and not racing.

In size, an Acara can be anywhere between the mass and proportion of a domestic kitten and a jungle cat. They are calm, amiable creatures, though the wilder ones tend to have a passion for a fair fight. Speculations have claimed the Acara to be ursine because of its compact muzzle, but research proves it is a distinctly feline pet, in spite of its semi-retractable claws and inability to purr. The thickset, blunt snout actually allows ample room for the Acara’s long whiskers to move over their broad, flat faces, observing the environment around them and sending data quickly to the brain. As they are omnivores, the length of their jaws is not a problem in relation to eating.

The Acara’s regular diet consists of meagre portions of meat and many fruits and vegetables. They are skilled at shelling nuts between their molars. Acara ears are a curious thing, odd enough to rival even the Aisha’s two pairs. Shaped like butterfly wings, they are half the size of the head and situated on either side of the head rather than on the top. The Acara does not have four ears, but the normal two. Each is divided by a thin vein which increases the amount of control an Acara has over the movement of their ears. The concave face of the ear is rife with tiny ridges like a bat’s, thus the ears are very sensitive to soundwaves.

Curling back from their skulls is one of their most notable peculiarities: horns. These horns can be found on even the youngest Acara kit and are enveloped by a fine fuzz which they do not grow out of as they mature. This velvet nourishes the growth of their horns and, like foam packaging, prevents them from damaging.

So what do we know about the Acara? They can dive up to record depths, enjoy fruit, cannot sprint but are reliable pack animals, and carry a certain sense of admirable nobility. But I wanted more than facts gleaned from chance encounters and close documentation. So, in the fashion of any enthused writer on a quest for knowledge, I bought a Fuzzy Notebook and Mechanical Pencil, and set out to brave the streets of Neopia for first-hand advice from Acara owners.

    (QUESTION) What made you decide to create or adopt an Acara?

mandar303: I decided to adopt an Acara after TNT changed the way they looked. I had thought they were the ugliest pets before, but the new look is adorable. I wanted to adopt one from the pound and give it a second chance. That’s how I found Kalabush (she likes to be called Kala). She was blue when I got her and I painted her striped.

kornishpea: I chose to create my Acara because they looked really cute. All things need something cute, something warlike and something loving. This is a must in any of my families.

kianala: I adopted my Acara a few days after I joined Neopets. She was looking rather lonely in the pound and I thought that it would be better for me to adopt her than create a new pet. I nursed her back to health.

mass_woo: I was going to create a pet when I saw an Acara in yellow and decided it worked, so I created my yellow Acara, Farantam (now a Mynci courtesy of the lab).

chazza882: I thought an Acara looked like a cute and caring pet.

aviophobic: Well, it was a tough choice, but I think it was those ears! I mean, if you really had to look at them, Acaras have the funkiest ears on Neopets. I had to have a pair of those; they’d be so much fun to draw.

    (QUESTION) How does your Acara behave around other pets?

mandar303: Kala is very flirty. She’s also kind of ditzy. She is incredibly friendly though and will talk to just about anyone concerning just about anything

kornishpea: My Acara is very sympathetic, but shy around other pets.

mass_woo: Farantam was energetic at first and always full on happiness then he started to calm down. I believe this happened for my Acara because he was near my Kau and my Kau is naturally energetic.

abebe: She is very nice.

chazza882: My Acara is kind and polite.

    (QUESTION) Do you remember your Acara’s first word?

aviophobic: Oh, I remember Sater’s first word as if it were yesterday. ‘Loovbug.’ I had just gotten done explaining what the little flying menaces were.

    (QUESTION) Does your Acara have any hobbies?

mandar303: Kala isn’t much of a hobby Acara. She’s quite lazy and would rather spend the day lying around. She does enjoy playing with her little sister, just because she likes cute things.

kornishpea: He’ll read. He’ll read a lot. Sometimes non-stop for four hours.

mass_woo: My Acara has always made a hobby of collecting plushies and he has helped me build my gallery of plushies. We are still collecting.

abebe: Playing Cheat!

chazza882: She usually hangs around with her friends and that’s about it.

aviophobic: Chasing lovebugs, annoying his big brother, attempting to fly, and looking downright lovely curled up on a pillow asleep.

    (QUESTION) What does your Acara like to be treated to?

mandar303: My Acara likes to be treated to anything! She likes to be spoiled. And she loves pink.

kornishpea: He is easy to please and appreciative of everything I give to him, especially tomatoes.

mass_woo: At the start Farantam liked anything sugarless, but after a while I got him to love Orange Chia Pops. He also likes playing with his plushies.

abebe: Caramel Acara On A Stick.

aviophobic: Sater will eat just about anything, though he’s grown much attached to eating lovebugs. I can’t say why.

    (QUESTION) Describe your Acara in three words.

mandar303: Lazy, girly, ditzy.

kornishpea: Loving of others.

mass_woo: Energetic, playful and determined.

abebe: Cute, original, charming.

chazza882: Kind, caring, generous.

aviophobic: Crazy, lovebug-obsessed, little.

    (QUESTION) Would you recommend an Acara as a good pet choice for potential owners?

mandar303: I would recommend an Acara to other owners; they are fun little pets who seem to live life to the fullest. And they’re so cute!

kornishpea: Yes. If you are a family person, get an Acara.

mass_woo: Yes, most definitely. I recommend the colours yellow and red. I also believe that the Acara will one day become one of the most wanted Neopets of all.

abebe: Yes. They are not fussy eaters, unlike Boris!

aviophobic: I would definitely have to recommend Acaras. They’re sweet, loving, slightly insane, and adorable when they’re little. As they grow up, their personality all depends on how you treated them when they were young. Be nice to them, they’ll grow up sweet. Be mean and they’ll return the favour to the world.

There you have it. For countless reasons, obvious or not, Acaras are a loved species. Some of the most famous names belong to Acaras, such as Vira, Princess Fernypoo, Mipsy and Roberta. Plushies, food, weaponry, books – and yes, even gnomes – have been modelled after or inspired by the Acara. The Acara will persevere in stories and in the eyes of the people who care for them, brightening Neopia’s history and future.

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