Kowakian monkey-lizards was a tiny bipedal reptilian species native to a jungle-like Outer Rim planet called Kowak. Although they have no established culture, Kowakian monkey-lizards are quite intelligent, and despite their silly, cruel nature, they are considered sentient by many sentientologists in the galaxy, although there is much debate over that fact.
Standing roughly 2 feet tall, Kowakian monkey-lizards have small, spindly bodies, two large, floppy ears and a beak-like nose, with tufts of dark hair growing around their neck and on the tops of their heads. Some subspecies had long, prehensile tails.
Kowakian monkey-lizards are rarely found off their homeworld, although it is not uncommon to find a monkey-lizard in the service of a crime lord. One such individual was Salacious B. Crumb, a court jester on Tatooine for Hutt gangster Jabba Desilijic Tiure. Crumb perished along with his master when Jabba's sail barge was destroyed in 4 ABY. At least one Force-sensitive monkey-lizard was known to exist—a mutated Dark Jedi named Picaroon C. Boodle, who served under Jerec. Pic was ultimately killed by Rebel agent Kyle Katarn above the Sulon Star.
Kowakian monkey-lizards are reptilian bipeds, with thin, almost twig-like limbs, and a small, triangular head atop slender shoulders. They have two large, floppy ears, which curve backwards and narrow into a thin, hairy point, and often have several small holes in them, though not always. In place of a nose, monkey-lizards have a dark colored, extremely wide beak, which can be opened to reveal a large, toothless mouth. They have two wild, yellow eyes, which are usually very close to each other, although this varied. Each monkey-lizard has tufts of thick hair growing around their long neck, on the tops of their heads and at corners of their jawbones. The color of this hair varies: it is usually black or dark brown, though a lighter brown, as well as a slightly orange shade was also known to exist. Kowakian monkey-lizards generally have long, thin tails, though some variants of the species have no tail.
Society and Culture
Monkey-lizards reside mainly in large tree nests, and enjoyed swinging through the green rain forests of Kowak. Their diet consists largely of various insects, worms and small rodents. They eat quite regularly, as their small bodies required much nourishment. They are also scavengers, choosing to eat carrion instead of fresh meat or vegetables. Rotting flesh is quite unhealthy to eat, so many in the galaxy speculates as to why they choose it. It may be because they prefer to have others do their work, or else because they wish to avoid predatory animals.
Monkey-lizards are extremely destructive and curious, and love to explore, rarely leaving the packs they moved around in for protection against predators. They often use their ceaseless, loud laughter to scare off any potential attackers. They travele in groups, making as much noise as possible in an attempt to intimidate other creatures in the jungles. After finding a corpse, monkey-lizards spend time fighting over the food instead of sharing it. Kowakians are known to be extremely cruel and mean-spirited to both other monkey-lizards and to members of other species. They have a clear sense of mischief and humor, and are known to mock others, laugh at them, and even fling objects towards them simply because they find it amusing. They are able to perfectly mimic almost any language, and according to certain studies, communicate in those languages if they wished. Monkey-lizards are also known to laugh at appropriate times during conversations, and can often repeat back what they heard fairly accurately. The sentience of Kowakian monkey-lizards is a highly debated topic among the greater galactic scientific community. The issue was never officially decided, though many declared them sentient; they believed this as although monkey-lizards were cruel, they were also quite intelligent.
Monkey-lizards have very little culture or structured society to speak of. They have a sort of hierarchical boundary within each group of nests, with the oldest female acting as leader. Each monkey-lizard is given a specific role: some are assigned to gather food, others maintain the nest, while yet others scout for predators. Nothing is known about how the monkey-lizards reproduce; in the wild, monkey-lizards usually chased away those who attempted to study them and their behavior, and those in captivity had to be separated from other members of their species due to the noise levels they exhibited when left together. Sentientologists estimated that monkey-lizards laid eggs as a group about once a year, with only a few of the eggs surviving to hatch.
Monkey-lizards play no real part in galactic society; they rarely leave their homeworld and are considered too wild to be let loose in proper society. Various scientists have attempted to study them in the wild, but all of these attempts proved fruitless; the monkey-lizards did not take well to being observed. A group of University of Coruscant zoologists once visited Kowak hoping to conduct a study on the planet's spindly inhabitants. The zoologists noted that at first the monkey-lizards were apprehensive towards them, and seemed to be trying to keep to themselves. After about a week of being watched from afar with macrobinoculars, the monkey-lizards began to wander into the group's camp, inspecting their equipment and looking around. The zoologists eventually began to offer the creatures some of their food; that was when the Kowakians's cruel streak came out. They hid a snake in one of the zoologist's bags, destroyed their expensive equipment, ate all their food, played in their tents and even left barrels of water on top of branches, pouring their contents down on anyone who walked below. The zoologists had no choice but to leave the planet.
In the Galaxy
Early on in the galaxy's history, Kowakian monkey-lizards were rarely, if ever found offworld. Despite this, they occasionally wandered onto a visiting ship and could end up almost anywhere. Later on, a large number of monkey-lizards could be found in the galactic underworld, often tied to criminal organizations, because of their ability to repeat things exactly as they heard them, as well as the fact that they made excellent spies. Although monkey-lizards are quite popular with some among the upper classes, who keep them as pets for their own amusement, they are usually frowned upon in civilized society, and no matter how much time and effort is devoted to it, or what method used, monkey-lizards proved to be completely untrainable. Monkey-lizards bought as pets were usually sold on after their owners realized that they couldn't control them. Their owners often complained of how they had a tendency to smash valuable items, deface art and furniture, and rummage through garbage compactors. Most people think monkey-lizards are extremely obnoxious, and it is considered an insult to call someone a Kowakian monkey-lizard. Monkey-lizards who were taken as pets became extremely lazy, and they usually starved if returned to the wild. In very rare cases, a monkey-lizard served as a mechanic or engineer; one such being once repaired Boba Fett's armor at a workshop in Ma'ar Shaddam. He was later killed by Risso Nu. A Kowakian monkey-lizard also served as a companion of the famous pirate known as Reginald Barkbone.
Salacious B. Crumb was a Kowakian monkey-lizard from Kowak itself who served as Jabba Desilijic Tiure's court jester at his desert palace on the Outer Rim world of Tatooine. Although he spoke in laughs and cackles, Crumb was in fact intelligent; his silly nature was something of a facade, and he was smart enough to survive in Jabba's Palace. Crumb came to be in Jabba's possession after he sneaked onto the Hutt's ship and attempted to steal his food. Jabba was amused by the tiny creature, and allowed him to live on the condition that Crumb had to make the Hutt laugh once a day. Crumb stayed in the Hutt's citadel for over four years, creating havoc and becoming one of the most disliked members of Jabba's court. During his time there, Salacious liked to play jokes on visitors and court members; one example of these jokes was when Crumb led two professors into the rancor pit. Crumb was present when Jedi Knight Luke Skywalker arrived in Jabba's Palace to negotiate the release of carbonite-encased Han Solo with the crime lord, and the monkey-lizard was on board the Khetanna when it exploded. He died in the explosion.